Stay Healthy at Home During Lockdown: Remote Work Ergonomics
With so many people working from home for the past four or more weeks, I’m noticing patients coming to my chiropractic clinic with issues related to their new working environment as well as their stay at home lifestyle. I have seen a trend of patients presenting for treatment with a range of issues such as tight hip flexors and traps, as well as back and neck pain.
In my last blog, Ergonomics at Home: Improving your WFH Posture, I outlined some office equipment that could be bought to assist with better ergonomics. In this blog, I will give you some suggestions around what to do to stay healthy at home while working, as well as a few stretches that can help keep your body healthy and pain-free during this challenging time.
1. Keep Moving
One of the main problems with the work from home model is people tend to start work earlier and finish work later. This usually results in people missing out on incidental exercise throughout the day. What I am seeing is people are logging into work first thing in the morning and missing out on their usual incidental movement routine throughout the day which may have included walking to the bus or train, walking to the coffee shop mid-morning for your caffeine fix or leaving the office at lunchtime to get some food.
Even though this may not seem like much exercise, it is this continuous movement throughout the day that is vital to keep the human body functioning well. This lack of daily movement (not to mention the fact that gyms are closed) is causing everyone to get tight and sore.
Luckily, within the public health order rules, you’re still able to leave your home to exercise outdoors. This extends your ability to stay healthy at home with options to be active at home, or outdoors. My advice is to try and build a daily routine which includes some conscious movement. This could include a good walk or run in the morning before work or in the evening after work. Find out the benefits of walking. Maintaining continuous movement like this is important for breaking up repetitive posture patterns you will fall into if you are working from home and not moving at all throughout the day.
2. Incorporate Stretch Breaks Into Your Day
We all know we should stretch more (myself included). If you are working from home, now is the perfect opportunity to start including some stretch breaks throughout the workday. A stretch break is a quick 5-minute break where you stretch 1-2 areas of your body. I recommend doing 2-3 stretch breaks throughout the day to help you stay healthy at home. Try doing a combination of hip flexor, neck, lower back and glute stretches.
Stay Healthy at Home
Try to implement these small changes to help you stay healthy at home while working remotely. If you are still experiencing pain or discomfort feel free to get in touch with me or book an appointment.
Chiropractors are essential workers to ensure people stay healthy and strong. I am able to continue to take care of patients to keep everyone out of pain and out of doctors offices. I would love to assist you if you would like help looking after your body during this stressful time.