With the country under lockdown in an effort to curb the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our NHS, many of us are working from home. As companies look to the future and the requirements to maintain social distancing, home working could become the norm for many office workers.
Whilst working from home can offer significant benefits to some – including a lack of commute, saving on petrol and parking fees – it’s important for all of us to take stock of our physical and mental well-being when home working.
Protecting your back
One of the key concerns for many workers used to sitting in an office chair in their regular workplace is that of back support. Many are making do with working from their couch using a company laptop. While this might be comfortable for the short-term, it risks damage to your back in the long term.
Here are some ways to protect your back whilst working from home:
Change your posture
Sitting in the same position for extended periods leads to pains in your neck, shoulders, and back. Swapping your position and posture every hour or so can help to prevent this. If you have the room at home, why not alternate between the couch, the kitchen table, and the dining room throughout the day?
Elevate your laptop
If you’re working from a laptop, then you’re probably looking down on the screen, which is bad for your neck and back. If you have a desk or a table, then you should use it, but raise the height of your laptop with a few thick books. Ideally, your laptop screen should be at eye level, in order to maintain that straight posture.
We don’t sit still for our entire shift whilst in the office, so there’s no need to do so at home. Get up and stretch, make yourself a cup of tea or coffee, do some gentle exercises. Not only will the movement help your back pain, but you will also reduce the risk of eye-strain.
Invest in an office chair
An ergonomically designed chair provides the support you need for your back. Having a desk and a chair, even if you’re only using a laptop computer, will improve your posture and reduce the risk of back pain in the future.