14 April 2020

Back problems? At the office your desk is likely to be set up for day to day comfort. But how do you replicate that when at home? Here’s some inspiration to help you keep your back healthy while you work from home.

2:00 min

Keep moving

While the old advice for back ache was bedrest, these days keep moving should be your motto. Set a timer at regular intervals to make sure you stand up and stretch or simply walk and talk while you make phone calls. Regular breaks away from your desk, even just for a few minutes every hour, will stop you seizing up and stay healthy.

Avoid the couch for work

It may seem like a treat, but working from your couch for any length of time will put your back into strained positions that are bound to result in stiffness or even exacerbate existing issues. Find a place to set up your workstation where you can sit with your arms and legs at right angles.

A novel workstation

If the kids are hogging the dining table for homeschooling, try using the ironing board as a desk. This familiar household item with its adjustable height setting and flat surface makes a good – if lightweight – makeshift desk. You could even make turn it into a standing desk if that’s what you prefer.

Get creative with your set up

Gather up cushions, blankets and books to create a home workspace that your back will thank you for. Try different sizes and shapes of cushions to turn an ordinary dining chair into a comfortable office chair. Make sure you have some padding underneath and then prop up the small of your back so that you sit upright. A rolled-up towel can also work well. If your feet don’t quite reach the floor at right angles then pop a couple of chunky hardback books to create a footrest. That will help your legs and back stay in alignment while you work.

Lunchtime rolls

Make sure you take some time in the middle of each day to stretch out any stiffness before you sit down again. Shoulder and head rolls are easy ways to release neck tension and if your lower back feels compressed then try lying down on the floor for a few bridges. These simple exercises should release any tight spots for the afternoon.

Go wireless

Wireless headphones or headsets create less strain in the neck and shoulders while making calls. Using a wireless keyboard lets you raise your laptop screen up to eyelevel (books come in handy here too) and maintain a good posture. If you find yourself crouching over a small laptop screen, explore the settings on your Smart TV to see if you can cast your laptop to the TV screen.

Stay hydrated

We know drinking water is good for us, but did you know it will also keep your discs in good shape and help prevent back injury? If there’s not enough water in your body to rehydrate the discs in your vertebrae they can shrink and their ability to act as shock absorbers is reduced. So, keep your discs healthy and hydrated with plenty of water and you’ll be sitting pretty.