Working from home has become the new normal for many employees during COVID-19. While there are benefits from not having to commute to a job everyday, there can be downsides to having a living space double as an office. Working at a computer can lead to a variety of wellness challenges and can trigger posture, back, and neck pain. GHC-SCW Physical Therapist Gina Droessler, PTA, CSCI, CPI provides some tips and tricks on how to minimize lower back pain when working from home.
Why does sitting at a desk for too long cause back pain?
Bodies are made to move! Oftentimes, workstations are not set up correctly which results in putting an extra strain on muscles. When muscles are fatigued they send out an alert in the form of pain signals.
What are some stretches members can do to combat back pain?
There are a few stretches that desk workers should be doing every day. Click HERE to access a PDF digital download of how to correctly complete these suggested stretches.
How often should members take standing breaks if they work at a desk?
Best practice would be every thirty to sixty minutes. Make an effort to get up and move. Walk around and do stretches above if experiencing muscle fatigue or tightness. Also, make sure to drink a lot of water which can encourage regular standing breaks when getting up to use the bathroom.
Any tips on how to set up a work from home area to minimize potential pain?
Setting up a workstation correctly is important to fit the needs of each unique body. Click HERE for a PDF ergonomic self-evaluation to check the effectiveness of your workstation.
When should a member see a provider regarding body or back pain?
When the pain starts affecting daily activities it’s time to reach out to your provider. Constant pain may suggest a plateau that will not get better without professional help. The sooner a member can contact our PT/OT department, the quicker they can start to feel better!