It is estimated that 42% of Americans work remotely, and that was pre-COVID. In the past year, millions of people switched from working in an office to working in one or more rooms of their home. The kitchen table has become a common workspace, which means that ergonomics may have gone out the window. Working from home, there is a temptation to use poor posture. There is also a temptation to skit in the same position for far longer than we might otherwise. The result is an uptick in complaints of neck and back pain.
Dr. Lipani is an esteemed neurological surgeon serving the areas of Hamilton, Bridgewater, Morristown, and more. In addition to providing comprehensive services to repair spinal injuries, our office also offers prevention tips that can be easily implemented. If you work from home, the following can be good tips for your workspace wellness.
Attend to Your Monitor and Keyboard
Poorly positioned keyboards and monitors are the cause of much unnecessary pain. Working from home, many people use their laptops. If you’re one of them, consider the following strategies:
- Place a rest pad in front of your keyboard to support your wrists
- Keep the screen at eye-level. This can be achieved using a laptop dock of some sort.
- Use a separate keyboard so your hands are not lifted too high to reach the laptop keyboard set at eye-level.
The same strategies can be used for a desktop computer, though, in that instance, it is usually easier to adjust the monitor so the head is not bent forward and down. In general, the posture you want to keep when working on a computer is:
- Both feet flat on the floor or short stool.
- Sitting up straight with the back against the chair.
- Elbows bent at a 90-degree angle when typing or using a mouse.
- Looking straight ahead.
Is a Standing Desk Good for Relieving Neck and Back Pain?
Some people who struggle with neck or back pain think that a standing desk may be a worthwhile solution. This model of workspace has become increasingly popular in recent years. Whether or not a standing desk would be good for your spine may depend on your unique situation. If you choose to stand, set your desk up on a soft surface and make sure you sit down to rest every 30 minutes or so. Standing for extended periods can be just as irritating to the back and neck as sitting all day.
If your work-from-home situation has instigated chronic back or neck pain, you could benefit from speaking with an experienced back specialist. We’re here to help! Contact an office near you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Lipani.