If you are like many people these days, you have taken advantage of the fact that you can use the internet, video calls, and other remote methods of staying in touch with others to maintain your employment from your house. You may be new to an office-style job, or you may be a seasoned veteran of working all day at a desk job. Regardless of the years you’ve spent working at your desk, it’s a good idea to periodically assess your back health and posture, to ensure that the muscles of both your back and your spine are as healthy as possible.
PEAKiropractic puts your health and well-being first. With that in mind, here are five ideas for maintaining your spinal health while working from home.
1. Adjust Your Ergonomics
A good ergonomic setup contributes to good posture. You will need to position yourself about an arm’s length in front of your computer screen and sit with your feet flat on the floor. You don’t need to strain to make your back perfectly straight — you should actually lean slightly backward to support the natural curves in the spine.
2. Keep an Eye on Your Posture
Many of us have directives from well-meaning parents, such as “sit up straight” or “don’t slouch,” still ringing in our ears decades after childhood — and maybe these grownups had a point about the benefits of good posture. Thanks to the digital age, many apps, add-ons, and fitness trackers provide excellent reminders for us to adjust our posture as we work. Try setting your reminders for frequent intervals at first and working toward longer periods of time. You may be surprised at how you start correcting your own posture before your digital helper reminds you to do so.
3. Do the Right Exercises
Aerobic exercises that increase your heart rate for at least 30 minutes a day, weight training exercises that boost your lumbar strength, and yoga that improves flexibility are all great workout options you can safely perform at home. If you have a gym membership with access to machines that help with lower back strength, be sure to utilize the equipment on a regular basis. If not, you can always use your own body weight to gain muscle mass at home. And if a half hour session simply isn’t doable, fear not — Maven Doctors points out that three 10 minute sessions will suffice.
There are many yoga platforms like Glo or Gaia that offer free trials, and other fitness apps that are available with a monthly subscription. Remember to wear comfortable clothing, such as yoga pants, lounge pants, or leggings made from a soft, durable fabric to get the most out of your exercise time.
4. Check Your Mattress
If you haven’t upgraded your mattress in over a decade, you may have a bigger problem than all those dust mites that are now living in your once-comfortable bed. The wrong bed, or a mattress that’s too old, wreaks havoc on even the healthiest back. The conventional wisdom that says to choose the hardest sleeping surface may now be outdated. Instead, Harvard Health Publishing says to think like Goldilocks and choose a mattress that’s not too soft or too firm for comfortable sleep.
5. See Your Chiropractor
A good chiropractor can identify your weak spots, adjust your spine, and provide suggestions for posture correction and physical therapy-type exercises that you can do at home between appointments. It is best to get regular adjustments to help prevent injury and maintain the health of your spine. With PEAKiropractic you can do that without leaving your home!
When working from home, you may have a tendency to plow ahead without taking breaks. Remember to get up, stretch, and set those timers. Maybe you can even keep a yoga mat in your office for a quick exercise break between projects to maintain the lifelong health of your back and spine. And be sure to connect with PEAKiropractic for more tips, information and hands-on help with your back and spine health!