What Working From Home Is Doing To Our Spine
Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi
Millions of Americans have transitioned to a partial or completely remote work schedule amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and it seems likely that if we ever fully get back to normal, many workers will continue to work from home in some capacity. Working from home has a number of perks, but it can also be quite hard on your spine. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at what working from home is doing to our spine, and what we can do to prevent and treat injuries.
How Working From Home Is Hurting Your Spine
For the most part, working from home isn’t all that different from working in the office if you work a rather sedentary job. That said, home-based work can pose some additional threats to your spine health that you’ll want to be aware of. For example:
- Unsupportive Seating Options – Hopefully you have a nice work chair at the office, but you may not have as luxurious of accommodations at home. You may opt to sit on the couch or in an armchair to get your work done, and those can be less supportive of your spine. Invest in a supportive chair for your home office, or see if your company would consider providing one for you.
- Poor Posture – Similarly, if you’re seated on the couch or in an armchair to get your work done at home, you probably aren’t seated with your head directly above your shoulders with ideal posture. Hunching forward or reclining backwards can put excessive strain on your cervical or lumbar spine. Different seating options at our home office can lead to worse posture positioning.
- Limited Movement – Even if you weren’t all that active at your in-office job, you likely got some physical activity on your commute, your walk into the building and during breaks or your lunch hour. If you work from home, there’s a chance that you never leave the house for the day, especially during the cold Minntesota winter. Make sure you still find time to be active throughout the day if you work from home, because activity will help to strengthen your spine and promote healthy blood flow to spinal structures.
Treating Work From Home Spine Pain
We touched on some prevention and treatment strategies for work from home spine pain above, but there are some other techniques we want to specifically point out in this section. For example, one way to help take some stress off your spine is to invest in a sit-to-stand workstation. These desks adjust so that you can get work done in a seated or standing position, and changing up your positioning throughout the day can relieve your spine of stress and pressure.
Hydrating and eating healthy are also important aspects of caring for your spine if you work from home. You may not hydrate as often when you’re working from home because you’re not taking a moment to socialize at the water cooler, and you may fall into worse eating habits because food is always readily available at your residence. Dehydration and weight gain can both work against your spine health, so monitor your diet and water intake if you’ll be working at home for an extended period.
And finally, if you’re dealing with spine pain or you want to ensure you’re doing what you can do to avoid back pain if you’ll be working from home more in the future, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi and the team at the Midwest Spine & Brain Institute. We’ll be happy to help set you up with some ergonomic adjustments to keep your spine healthy or work to restore it to its maximum function. For more information, reach out to our clinic today at (651) 430-3800.