Back pain is a common musculoskeletal health concern in today’s dominantly sedentary society, with over 16% of the Australian population estimated to have back problems. In 2021, back pain is growing in occurrence even more so with modern work-from-home routines, as according to the Australian Chiropractors Association, poor posture while working from home can lead to immediate back pain and aches.
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As such, it is important to take the precautions necessary to prevent back pain while working from home. Keep reading to learn four tips you may apply to your work-from-home routine to help you prevent back pain.
Make sure your monitor is eye-level
Positioning your monitor so that it is eye-level can help with back pain. This is because you will maintain correct neck posture, as well as cause you to sit upright. You can keep your monitor positioned at eye-level by using a monitor stand or a rig so that you can adjust the height of your monitor to whatever you please. In some cases, it may also be helpful to tilt your monitor at a certain degree (according to a health practitioner’s recommendation) to assist with preventing problems of back pain.
Keeping your monitor at least an arm’s length away from you will also help you to protect your eyesight.
Take physical activity breaks intermittently
Taking physical activity breaks every hour or so is incredibly important to helping you prevent back pain while working from home. Many individuals oftentimes grow too comfortable working from home and forget to move around to prevent muscle stiffness and strain in their back. Performing light physical activities intermittently can help your body from developing back pain and experiencing unnecessary pressure to the back.
Physical activities such as taking a short walk, or stretching as per the advice of a qualified health practitioner may be worth considering taking. Alternatively, you can refer to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) physical activity guidelines for more information on which physical activities you should perform while avoiding sedentary behaviour.
Sit at 90 degree angles
While sitting, many health practitioners recommend sitting at 90 degree angles for correct posture. This is because sitting at 90 degrees will prevent unnecessary pressure from building up on your back (as opposed to slouching or leaning back). Your back should be perpendicular to the base of your chair, while your feet are also flat on the ground with your knees at a 90 degree angle.
It is important that you sit on a chair which allows you to comfortably sit at 90 degrees, and purchase a foot rest if your feet are unable to touch the ground.
Perform stretches as recommended by a health practitioner
As mentioned previously, physical activity, including stretches may help with preventing back pain while working from home. Depending on your own musculoskeletal health concerns, not all stretches you find recommended on sites like YouTube may be appropriate for your body. As a result, it is always advisable to visit a health practitioner such as a chiropractor for more specific advice on what kind of stretches you can be doing.
A health practitioner may also demonstrate to you how a stretch is meant to be performed, reducing the risk of error and resulting detrimental effects. You can find a chiropractor who may recommend you stretches by visiting professional organisation websites and using their ‘Find a Chiropractor’ directory functions.
If you are looking to prevent back pain while working from, consider applying the above mentioned tips