Lockdown has forced thousands of people to start working from home, and for many of us this has meant swapping the desk and office chair for a corner of the kitchen table or a spot on the sofa. But if you’re finding that your new working situation is taking its toll on your back, you’re not alone – a poor home office setup can cause all kinds of discomfort and back pain.
Since it looks like we’ll be in lockdown for some time to come, it’s important to start looking after your back now, to prevent bigger problems down the line. So, here are 4 key ways you can protect your back health while working from home!
1. Sit up
If you’re making do on your sofa (or even in bed!) with your computer resting on your knees, it’s time to break free. This position can work for a little while, but it will cause real problems if you work like this all day, every day. Instead, set up a desk – it doesn’t have to be big or fancy, but you do need to be able to put your computer on it and sit upright comfortably. You should be able to look straight at the screen without hunching over or twisting.
2. Find a good chair
A decent chair is key to good back health. If you can treat yourself to a proper office chair, that’s great, but if not, you can turn an ordinary chair into a more comfortable, ergonomic one. If the chair is hard and unforgiving, soften it up with a seating pad or a thin cushion, or use cushions to raise yourself to the right height if your chair is too short. You can also buy a lumbar support pillow that can attach to any chair and will provide extra support for your lower back.
3. Maintain good posture
If there’s nobody around to see you, it may be tempting to start curling up in your chair, sitting cross-legged or rocking back and forth. If you catch yourself doing this, don’t worry! Just go back to a proper seating position and try to stay there. A good seating position is where your back and neck are straight, both feet are resting on the floor and your forearms are parallel with the floor.
4. Move and stretch
No matter how ideal your work setup is, you’ll probably start to feel uncomfortable if you stay sitting down all day, so get up and move! Try to take a break every hour or so to get up and walk around, and even do some stretches to ease out those particularly tense areas. Try rotating your shoulders, making circles with your head, stretching your arms across your body and gently twisting at the hips. Check out the BUPA website for some easy stretches you can do at your desk.
It’s important to protect your physical and mental health during this time, so if you need someone to share the load of running your business during lockdown, Get Ahead VA can help. We offer services including telephone answering, marketing and social media management, to keep your business running smoothly even in uncertain times. To find out how we can help, please give Get Ahead VA a call on 01483 332220 or email us at [email protected]. We pride ourselves on being the staff you don’t see, but the difference you do.