Did you know that for at least one point in your life, there’s an 80% chance that you will suffer from back pain? It is not that hard to imagine given today’s new normal. Working from home means spending long hours in front of a screen or staying in an unhealthy position on the couch. Whatever your usual posture is, you may be reading this because you are experiencing back pain. If not, then you’re probably acting on your foresight to avoid it. Lucky for you, here are the tips that you should follow to fight an aching back.
1. Monitor Your Screen Time
Wouldn’t you agree that most of your daily activities nowadays take place in front of a screen? Whether you’re rushing a task for work or just binging on Netflix, there’s a chance that you stay immobile in a position for a lengthy time. You could be slouching down on your computer, texting on your phone, or even just be reading a book. Keeping your screen time in check will help remind you not to stay immobile for too long.
Fortunately, most of today’s mobile devices have app settings that allow you to limit screen time. You may set this up to remind you to move around a bit and to avoid staying stagnant.
2. Keep an Eye on Your Posture
It is normal to be 100% focused on something like an urgent task or a riveting movie. In the process, however, we tend to overlook the posture of our backs. Avoid doing these two positions that are unhealthy for your back: slouching and arching. Slouching is the same as hunching or curving your spine. Arching, on the other hand, is quite the opposite of slouching. It is bending or curving your spine backward. The ideal posture is to have your back as straight and as comfortably neutral as you can.
Most of us tend to forget avoiding the said unhealthy postures, but you can start small by making a habit of checking your back more frequently if it is in the correct posture or not. However, for some of us, it’s hard to keep a conscious eye on our backs. Thankfully, there are plenty of living room chairs that provide extra comfort, which makes sitting down a pleasure. Some of these can even do an incredible job at helping you maintain good posture while you work! So whether you are setting up a home office or just wanting to update your furniture, you will surely enjoy both style and comfort.
3. Remember to Take Breaks
Taking breaks can be beneficial to your productivity more than you think. Believe it or not, it is healthy for your back, too! If you sit down for too long, eventually leading you to an uncomfortable position, you are welcoming numerous trigger points around your muscles. These can potentially cause your back pains, especially when you start to move your body after a long time.
The best thing to do after every 25-minutes of work is to take a five-minute break to stand up and walk around. These little breaks for some stretching will spare you the trouble of enduring those nasty pack pains.
4. Take a Self Massage
If you have a loved one or a close friend around, nothing will beat getting a little back massage from them. But just in case you live alone or have no one to do that for you, remember those living room chairs we mentioned earlier? Not only can they encourage good posture as you work, but some of them can also give you great massages. Technology like that can ease muscle tension, almost reducing the need to go to the spa! Getting a massage chair does a great job of maintaining your back-health and helping you relax whenever you want.
5. Avoid Habits That Are Bad for Your Back
You may think that unhealthy habits like slouching and arching are the only culprits to your back pains when there are two others that you should learn to avoid.
When reaching for the floor – Dropped something, or need to pick something up? Sometimes you become unaware that you hunch or curve your spine while trying to reach the ground.
When carrying heavy objects – There is the occasional need to carry something heavy, but it becomes pretty dangerous when you put the pressure on your lower back by arching. It may give you the extra balance, but if you’re not careful, it can cause serious back pains.
Being aware of these two ugly habits can significantly improve your posture and avoid the aches on your back. Always remember that when reaching for the floor or carrying something heavy, maintain a neutral position by keeping your back comfortably straight. Also, in any case, avoid unnecessary pressure on your lower back when stretching or standing up after a long time. Many people are guilty of doing this but later will realize that it is the starting point of severe back pain.
Just in case you are dealing with chronic back pains or a severe medical condition, you should consult professional help since that would be a whole other story. Otherwise, whether you are experiencing ordinary back pains or you just simply want to avoid them, we hope that these tips served as a big help for you. Working from home can get challenging, but we can choose to be street-smart by learning how to always care for our backs!