3 Work From Home Habits to Avoid Back Pain

Many people have been given the privilege of working from the comfort (and safety) of their homes in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. For some, the ability to work from home is considered a luxury, yet it can also be accompanied by a number of challenges. One of these is falling into bad habits that can lead to back pain.

Below, we’ll share a few tips on how to avoid damaging your back when working on your laptop at home.

How to be free from back pain when working from home?

Be conscious of your posture.

When you have to shift your workstation from an office to a home set-up, you might have to work in an environment that is not as comfortable and ergonomically friendly.

If slouching on a chair has already become an unconscious habit, it can strain the muscles in your back. The increase in muscle tension can lead to muscle fatigue, discomfort, and back pain.

When you are sitting erect, the bones and joints of your back are aligned, and the muscles are relaxed. However, it is easy to forget your sitting posture when you are fully immersed in what you’re doing.

A simple tip to make good sitting posture a habit is arranging your workstation in such a way that you will be forced to sit upright.

  • Keep your computer screen at eye level
  • Invest in an ergonomic chair or put a pillow between your lower back and the chair for lumbar support
  • Keep your knees bent at a 90-degree angle

Be creative with physical activity.

Being stuck at home no longer affords you the daily physical activity that comes with commuting, walking, or driving to work.

Although the number of physical activities you can do at home is limited, you can get creative. The trick is to use the things you already have in the house. You can use a hand towel or water bottles in place of resistance band and weights.

Even doing simple stretching and flexibility exercises at regular intervals throughout the day can already save your back.

Perform breathing exercises

During stressful days, you might be feeling a bit of tension in your back as well. This is because your breathing pattern changes when you are stressed. A simple tip to relieve stress-related tension in the back is through breathing exercises.

Sit straight, inhale deeply through the nose, and hold your breath for 3-5 seconds. Then, breathe out slowly through pursed lips. Repeat this 3-10 times until you feel your body relax.

Read our previous post about stress-related back pain for more information.

When to seek treatment for back pain

Back pain is a leading cause of disability and missed work days. It is important to know when to seek professional help to prevent complications.

If your back pain persists for more than a week and is not relieved by rest and pain medications, we urge you to consult our experts in back pain treatment. A debilitating back pain that limits your mobility and affects your performance of daily tasks also necessitates a visit to an orthopedic doctor.

The back has complex structures, so it is best to get a thorough evaluation to find out the root cause of the pain. For best results, we always recommend treatments that target the specific problem area.

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Learn more about pain management treatments from our orthopedic spine surgeon

If you are experiencing back pain, our orthopedic spine specialist is ready to help. Dr. Matthew Hepler is an adult and pediatric spine surgeon.

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If you would like to learn more about our orthopedic spine surgeon, please Contact Us.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.