D. Slater Smith
The pandemic has accelerated a trend that many office workers have been experiencing for years, a transition from the office to work-from-home (WFH). For many employees, this shift is welcomed with open arms. In fact, one of the most frequently cited benefits of working from home, next to fewer distractions, is an increase in comfort.
Working from Home or Anywhere is becoming a new normal
Unfortunately, too many of us fall victim to the pitfalls of working from home, one problem being working from their bed. This can spiral into decreased productivity and even depression due to a lack of motivation and structure.
What’s even more, many people may feel more comfortable working in their house, or café, but the workstation they have setup, if they even have one, does not promote comfort and instead results in increased back and neck pain.
For those who spend most of their working hours sitting, especially those working from home, certain actions are essential for preventing back pain, the common ailment of office workers worldwide.
1 - Designate a Workspace
As comfortable as your bed or couch may be, it isn’t going to offer you the support and proper positioning your body needs when working. To not only improve productivity but also ensure proper posture, you will want to set up a designated workspace.
Beds are for … Sleeping
While an office chair may not seem as comfortable as a bed, it will better support your body as you work, which will increase your comfort in the long run. If your office chair is not of the best quality, invest in a seat cushion and back support that not only offers additional comfort but will ward off unwelcome pain.
2 - Proper Posture Please
Hate to sound like dear old mom, but it’s true. One of the most important things when working long hours in a chair is to maintain proper posture. This ensures that you do not put extra stress on certain parts of your body, particularly the neck, elbow and spine.
To encourage good posture:
⦁ Keep the ears directly above the shoulders (not in front)
⦁ Feet flat on the floor
⦁ Wrists resting on the desk
⦁ Use a lumbar (back) cushion to support your back and keep its natural ‘S’ curve.
3 - Move!
For those whose job requires them to sit most of the day, it is essential to take breaks to get up and move, even for a little bit.
Every 45-50 minutes leave your seat
The general rule is to get up from your chair every 45-50 minutes and take a walk around the room, stretch, grab a coffee or tea…
This is important because movement helps maintain blood circulation, which reduces pain and stiffness. If you remain sitting for hours on end, you may find that you are increasingly stiff when you finally do take a break.
Ensuring proper comfort, no matter where you work, is essential for improving your livelihood and preventing annoying aches and pains. Properly setting up a workspace, taking movement breaks, and using office products such as seat cushions can keep your spine in proper alignment while ensuring that you stay comfortable throughout your entire workday.
Your support makes my writing about Health, Wellness and Lifestyle possible. You can sign up to receive a notification when I publish a story. I’m the founder/owner of UCOBO where we focus on harmonization of Body and Physical Environment.
D. Slater Smith