In this unprecedented time, many of us have been sent home to work. A month ago, employees took home laptops and desktops from the office so they could keep up with their duties from afar. While that’s helpful for employment (and we all want to stay employed!) how does your at-home workstation stack up against the one you have normally? Do you spend time on the sofa with the laptop on your lap or on the coffee table? (I do…) What if, at the end of the day, you have a raging headache or stiff neck?
Let us help you with that. If you’re hurting more now working from home than you were at the office, here are four tips to prevent those aches and pains.
- Take breaks! And I don’t just mean a 15-minute coffee break twice a day. You need to move more often than that. Taking a break seems so obvious, but we Americans love to work. The key to pain prevention is movement – so move! Every thirty minutes to an hour, get up and move around. You can set an alarm to remind yourself to move.
- Activate deep neck muscles by tucking your chin during your breaks. Don’t bring your chin to your chest! Rather, think about giving yourself a double chin and bringing your chin straight back. This helps activate deep neck muscles but also helps to stretch tight muscles at the base of your skull. Perform 10-12 of them while standing. When done lying down, this exercise can serve as strengthening for your neck, but for purposes of getting you through your workday pain-free, consider it more for movement, not strength.
- Squeeze your scapulae (shoulder blades) together, then reverse by stretching your arms out in front of you, arching your thoracic spine (upper back). Perform this movement as often as you remember; do more if it feels good. Your thoracic spine and shoulders play a vital role in how you hold yourself up all day long. The most important thing about posture isn’t that you have it perfect – it’s that you’re moving in and out of different postures. Did I mention movement already? Okay, good. I’ll mention it again. MOVE.
- Last but certainly not least, see a physical therapist if you have neck pain, headaches, or even jaw pain. We at Peak Form are open during these difficult times to help take care of you! Don’t feel you need to suffer at home, alone. Call us today and we’ll get you scheduled, either in-person or remotely through Zoom.
Clearly, this is not an exhaustive list, but we hope it helps you get through your day! We’re here to help keep your work-from-home experience as painless as possible, so reach out if you have questions, concerns, or wish to make an appointment. Written by Laura Vroman Contact Vickie for more information