When everyone first transitioned to working from home, it was clear that the adjustment could be a pain in the neck. But it wasn’t clear how literal that pain could be. Follow these seven tips to ease the strain on your muscles and keep the pain from sitting too long at bay.
Keep A Straight Neck While Looking At Your Computer
For many, the at-home computer setup is a laptop on a dining table, so the user is constantly looking down. But your neck and shoulders aren’t designed to take the strain from your head tilted forward that long, so you can get a lot of pain from sitting that way.
Use a monitor if you have one, or prop your laptop up on books or boxes, to keep it at no more than a 30-degree angle from eye level and always keep it directly in front of you so your neck stays straight.
Keep Your Screen Perpendicular To The Window
Natural light can boost your mood. But when your screen faces the light, it creates a glare. And when your screen faces away from it, your eyes are directed right towards the light. Either way, you have to squint or adjust your position and end up in more pain from sitting like that.
Sit In A Comfortable, Ideally Adjustable, Chair
Many people don’t own desk chairs that support their legs and back at home, and while dining room chairs may be comfortable for a meal, you can find yourself in pain from sitting too long on one.
Experiment with different chairs in your home instead. An adjustable chair is ideal. Try out different seats and backs (or even using a chair with no back) and fix them with cushions to find out what works best for you so you don’t end up in pain from sitting all day.
Sit Back In Your Chair
Most people already know that hunching forward for too long while sitting causes pain. But overcorrecting is also possible. Your hips and lower spine naturally curve to relieve pressure on your lumbar, so forcing it straight can actually hurt you more than help.
Instead of focusing on how to sit correctly while also working, let the chair itself guide you to the position you should be in. Just sit back in it. Without forcing your back into any position, it can still ease the pain from sitting and make working from home easier.
Take Regular Stretching Or Movement Breaks
The standing desk has become popular lately. However, while it increases blood flow throughout the body, it also increases stress on your cardiovascular system, can cause varicose veins, and doesn’t solve the real problem: stagnation.
Regardless of your desk preference, make sure to stretch and walk around to get your body moving every 20 to 30 minutes. It’s an easy and effective way to cut the pain from sitting or standing for too long.
Incorporate Neck And Shoulder Movement Throughout Your Day
Movement breaks are tough on busy days, so also incorporate neck and shoulder movements throughout your day. These stretches can help overworked muscles and reduce the pain from sitting too long.
With your whole head, look up, then down, then turn your head to each side, and then “side bend” your head to each side so your ears reach towards their respective shoulders. Hold each position for 15 to 20 seconds. You might feel a gentle stretch, but never force the muscles.
For the shoulders, reach up with your arms as high as possible, and then see if your hand can touch the opposite shoulder blade. Anytime you feel a stretch, stop and hold the position for 15 to 20 seconds.
Get The Right Support
Some popular forms of support are actually counterproductive, like soft and squishy wrist rests that add compression on the finger flexor tendons and the median nerve. That leads to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Footrests or anything that keeps your feet flat on the floor are great for your muscles and limiting pain from sitting, though, along with cushions underneath you and behind your back.
As work from home continues, also consider Tommie Copper® Compression Products. Our products offer relief from aches and pains and give support to muscles and joints while still being comfortable enough to wear all day. Reduce your pain from sitting by using these tips and shopping at Tommie Copper® to feel better now.