A healthy work at home set up is important for pain management.
Neck pain is not as common as low back pain, but can be just as aggravating. Many people are working from home with un healthy computer set ups, which can lead to pain and stiffness. Many of the patients I have seen are not getting out much, and they are computer savvy. Because of Covid19, the computer has become their primary mode of connecting with family and friends
A poorly aligned computer or desk can cause significant pain!
Years ago my husband started a new job in an old building, where his desk space was not designed for a computer. He thought he would be creative and put the monitor up on a higher shelf, but he began having headaches. One quick trip to his office was all I needed to help him make some adjustments to his desk set up- ergonomic alignment for proper computer posture- and his headaches went away!
Follow these principles of of healthy work from home to minimize pain and stiffness:
Use a supportive chair An adjustable chair that can allow you to set yourself up with good back support and alignment is best. Check out this back support if you don’t have a customized office chair! (affiliate link) You may want to consider a chair mat if you have a roller chair-be cautious with getting up and sitting down!
Pay attention to your body alignment: Feet flat on floor, knees slightly lower than hips, back upright with good spinal support. Hips back in the seat with low back supported. If adjustment is needed try these: a pillow behind your back if the chair is too deep, a firm pillow under your bottom if the chair is too low, or a foot rest support if the chair is too high. Check out this back support if you don’t have a customized computer chair!
Protect your wrists: The keypad should allow your shoulders to be relaxed, with elbows at your side, bent to around 90 degrees, wrists in a neutral position (not flexed up), fingers resting on keyboard with no pressure on bend of wrists.
Examine your eyes: You should be able to look straight at the screen without extending your neck. Reading glasses may change how you need to set up your monitor! Close your eyes and look away from the screen every 20-ish minutes.
Be proactive: Set a timer to go off every hour. Get up and stretch, walk, and get a drink of water, to minimize stiffness. Take a deep breath and relax your shoulders when you get back to your seat.
Good habits can help prevent a plethora of problems! Happy computing!!
What are your biggest obstacles to good alignment? What tips would you add to this list?