How to manage pain while working from home:
With the country starting to creep back towards regular life, we have re-opened the clinic for in-patient appointments. While we are happy to be back in the clinic, working towards some hint of normality, we realise that not everybody is as lucky. Recent reports suggest that working from home may continue well into 2021 and well beyond this, in some capacity.
The majority of injuries we see in clinic are as result of increased or changed load being put onto the body. When we switch from sitting in a comfortable chair at a specific desk set up, to sitting on a hard chair or hunched over the coffee table, we alter the physical load placed onto the body. This shift combined with other additional stresses, such as juggling childcare with normal work, can lead us to be more susceptible to feeling pain.
How to remain pain free while working from home?
Move it or lose it! Research has shown us that there is no ‘perfect posture’ and that pain development is more directly correlated with how much time we spend in that position. See our ergonomics and posture post Here for further information.
- Humans are made to move and to adopt adjustable positions. Our joints, muscles and discs are designed to allow us to change our position regularly. We recommend that you take microbreaks every 20-30 minutes. This can include looking away from your screen, standing up from your chair, walking around the room, bending over or performing a few squats for good measure. Remember, there is no such thing as good posture/ positions, only postures that hurt and those that are comfortable. Golden rule, ‘If the position hurts, change it’.
- 3pm Slump! We have all been there where it has been a long day, you are feeling tired but the work day is not quite over with so you reach for a coffee to get you through. Could this be due to a lack of sleep from the night before? Did you know that the recommended adult sleep time is between 7 to 9 hours per night? Did you also know that recent studies have shown that for every hour sleep you get under 7 hours you are 50% more likely to feel pain? This lack of sleep can also affect your motivation for exercise.
- Exercise! The world health organisation recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week. Walking 30-60 minutes per day covers this goal and at the same time it is great for clearing the head and managing stress!
- Don’t forget your whole body! If you sit in a chair for 2-3 hours engrossed in work, it is not just your lower back that can get sore and stiff. Simple neck, shoulder, ankle and knee movements performed throughout the day at regular intervals can make all the difference.