Working from home became the ideal setup for offices to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. For employees who have a study or home office, switching to remote working is as easy as turning the lights on and off. But for those who have never worked from home before, they might have just combined a bulky old table, a lumpy sofa, and a desktop computer and called it a workstation.
The problem with makeshift workstations is they’re often not comfy. A week of working at home and your back pain begins. With a home office setup that’s not ergonomic, you might end up aching all over or needing non-surgical scoliosis treatment by the end of the month. Learn how you can work comfortably at home.
The best way to ensure a comfortable workplace is by having the right chair and table. To check if your furniture allows you to sit correctly, try this 90-degree angle test. Pull your chair as close as possible to your table. Allow your arms to dangle on your side parallel to your spine. Then raise them and rest your hands on the desk. Your elbow must be at a 90-degree angle. If it’s not, lower or raise your chair to achieve that angle.
Note, however, that your legs should not be dangling when you raise your chair. Check that both your feet are flat on the floor and that your upper legs are horizontally straight. Your bended knees should also be at a 90-degree angle. If you find that your feet are not flat on the floor when your elbows are at 90 degrees—or vise-versa—you need to replace your table.
Staggered Work Breaks
Sitting (or slouching) puts pressure on your spine, especially when you do it all day. This leads to lower back pain (LBP), which is the common cause of sick days and disability among workers. More than 80 percent of office employees experience LBP. Studies have also shown that prolonged sitting increases the risk of chronic diseases.
Even if you’re just at home, don’t be a couch potato while working. Schedule multiple staggered work breaks throughout the day to allow yourself to stand. Take these opportunities to walk away from your desk and stretch your arms and legs. Alternatively, you can buy a standing desk and move your laptop to it once or twice during the day.
Proper posture has a lot to do with avoiding back pain when you have to sit continuously for 8 hours. Maintain the proper posture by doing the following:
- While sitting, keep your back straight and resting fully on the backrest. You can use a back support.
- Relax your shoulders and keep it from rolling forward. Doing so also prevents your chest from resting on your abdomen.
- Distribute your weight evenly on your feet and hips.
- Do not cross your legs. Keep your ankles in front of your knees.
- Don’t sit in the same position for a long time.
Working at home is one of the best solutions companies came up with to ensure the health and safety of employees. If you’re lucky to have this work arrangement, follow the suggestions above to ensure your health at home.