6 Ways to Reduce Back and Neck Pain While Working From Home
Working on a laptop computer or working from home with a less than ideal work station set up is hard on your body.
Here are six very simple tips you can implement immediately to improve your posture and reduce your back and neck pain.
- If you are using a laptop, buy a separate keyboard and mouse. Elevate your laptop to approximately eye level using a box, and place your keyboard at about elbow height. This will help you maintain a much straighter posture, which will significantly reduce the stress on your neck and shoulders.
- Try kneeling at your desk for a few minutes at a time. This will help to stretch out your hip flexors, which tend to get tight and short if you spend all day sitting. Tight hip flexors cause your pelvis to tilt forward which compresses your lower back, so a few minutes kneeling at your desk is a great way to reduce some of these potential side effects.
- Get a stand up desk if you can. Stand up desks can help to improve your posture. They are also a good way to avoid developing lazy glute muscles, and you will have the added bonus of burning more calories standing than sitting. Learn more about the benefits from stand up desks.
- Mix it up throughout the day. Kneel at your desk, stand at your desk, walk around the garden while you are on a call. Generally just try and move more. (check out these tips on how to move more in your day)
- Extend your spine with the thorcic foam roller stretch shown in the video. You will need a 90 cm foam roller to do this stretch properly. Even 5 minutes of this foam roller activity will help to reverse the impacts of sitting all day.
- Stretch your glutes while sitting in your chair. If you have to sit in your chair while on a zoom call or you feel like you need a break from standing, try adding in a glute stretch for a few minutes on each side while you are sitting there. Place one leg across your opposite knee as shown in the video above, and lean forward until you feel a stretch in your glute muscle.
If you have tried all of these things and you are still experiencing back or neck pain, then you should make an appointment to see your local physio. Releasing tight and painful muscles and improving your mobility and flexibility can have an immediate impact on any back and neck pain you may be experiencing from sitting too much.