How You Can Keep Your Spine Healthy While Working at Home
Many workplaces have invested substantial amounts of time and money into setting up ergonomically correct workstations and encouraging employees to follow work practices that protect their bodies from the types of injuries that often result from repetitive motion or extendedbouts of sitting. Unfortunately, many people working from home do not have those same resources available to them and their spinal health is paying for it. These are six ways you can modify your homework environment to protect your spinal health while working at home, courtesy of Bayside Chiropractic.
1. Stay Active
Sitting or lying down for extended periods of time without getting up and moving around can cause the back to stiffen up, leading to back pain and increasing the chance of an injury, such as a muscle strain. Taking time throughout the day to get up and stretch, walk around, or do a few minutes of light exercise can help prevent stiffness. Additionally, get between 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise weekly to maintain overall spinal health, per CBHS Health.
2. Improve Your Posture
When working from home, it can be tempting to sit in a recliner or propped up on the bed, which can lead to bad posture. Avoid these temptations and instead work at a desk or table, with your monitor at eye level or just below. Adjust your chair height until your hands rest comfortably on your keyboard when your elbows are bent at 90 degrees. Sit up straight with your back against the backrest of your chair. The front of your chair seat should not press against your knees.
3. Get Regular Chiropractic Adjustments
When you get a chiropractic adjustment, the chiropractor applies controlled force to one or more spinal joints to improve function and spinal motion. As Verywell Health explains, this has proven to be a safe and effective, drug-free way to reduce pain, treat sciatica, reduce inflammation and even lower blood pressure.
4. Reduce Stress
There are several theories about how stress contributes to back pain. Some researchers believe that stress is a part of a pain cycle, in which people take actions, such as reducing activity, due to fear and anxiety caused by pain. This leads to deterioration of the body that leads to more pain, which causes more stress and the problem to compound. Others believe that stress by itself can cause physical pain. Either way, learning to control your stress can reduce back pain and improve overall health.
5. Declutter Your Home
Many people think of the cleanliness of their home as an aesthetic issue. However, an excessively cluttered house can also impact your health. More clutter means more dust, which can aggravate asthma and other respiratory conditions. It can also attract disease-carrying pests. Clutter makes it more likely that you will hurt your back by tripping over something. Decluttering can even promote weight loss, which is also good for your spinal health. And on top of all that, clutter tends to generate stress and cause tension, which is bad for your back.
6. Make Your Home More Positive
Clutter is just one of the ways your home can carry negativity. Your family members’ attitudes, conversations, and the general atmosphere can contribute to tension and stress, which we often feel in our necks, backs and shoulders. Take steps to clean up your home, literally and figuratively. Adjust perspectives, clean and air out the rooms, and open curtains to let in some mood-lifting sunshine.
When working from home, it can be tempting to choose comfort and convenience over ergonomically correct practices. However, taking these six actions today can help reduce any back problems you already have and prevent future problems from occurring. For more help with your health and well-being, connect with Bayside Chiropractic.