Back pain, neck pain, and carpal tunnel were already an issue, what do now that you may not have the best step up at home?
COVID-19 has wreaked havoc in every part of our daily lives. Working from home has brought on a variety of challenges such as being a child care provider and getting all your work done before the end of each day. For some, this makes the working day even longer than before. The more immediate stresses of balancing a complex schedule has covered up the longer term effects on the body of not having the appropriate setup to work from home. Back pain, neck pain, and carpal tunnel were already issues even with ergonomic chairs, desks, specialized floor mats, and scheduled breaks. With most of us working from the bed, sofa, dining room tables, and even closets or bathrooms, pain is coming with a vengeance.
Despite all the complications of working from home, a recent poll from Gallup asked US workers that have worked from home how many would want to continue to work from home after pandemic restrictions are lifted. An astounding 59% said they “would like to work from home as much as possible”. For many of us this will be the new reality for the next 6-12 months, so it’s best to be prepared to stay pain-free while working from home.
Here are 5 tips to work without pain during COVID-19
- Switch it up. If you don’t have a set spot to work from that offers the ergonomic benefits of a regular office or workplace, switch up your positions often. Move to a couple of different spots throughout the day to keep from the pain of being stuck in one area of the body. Need a standing desk? Put a box on the table and raise your computer. Consider investing in a good chair if it economically possible.
- Work-time stretches. Nobody is looking, so feel free to lay on the ground and stretch your back every hour. It can even be during a long conference call. Stretch your arms and hands too. These stretches will help the muscles relax and keep the blood flowing. Set a timer to remind yourself of doing stretches. A nice exercise mat and wireless headphones with microphone will make it easier.
- Take a Sunny Break. Take your lunch break outside and get a little bit of sun. You can make some sandwiches and take them outside to eat with your kids. Stuck in an apartment? Get close to a window and buy potted flowers or plants to get you a little closer to nature. A sunny break will recharge your body and mind for less pain.
- Have a bedtime routine. Getting proper sleep is really important to reduce pain since this is the time where your body recovers. Consider blackout curtains to keep the room dark, maybe get a fan to keep the room cool. You can also apply a lavender scented pain relief cream like Aromalief to reduce inflammation on your sore spots. Maybe you want to look at a new mattress pad or specialized pillows to fit your favorite sleeping positions.
- Stay hydrated all day. It has never been more important to drink water so that your body can be at its best. The spinal cord needs water to stay hydrated and flexible and this will help with neck and back pain. Your new coworkers (your kids) can help to remind you to drink your water and stretch.