If you’re working from home you’ve likely felt the pain of a poorly set-up workstation at this point. Here are some tips to help you get through the stay-at-home mandates with a little less stress on your spine.
1. Get up and walk every hour, minimum. Check out this earlier article for more…
2. Find a table that places your monitor at eye level. Consider raising your monitor up on books or a stand if it’s too low. A monitor that’s too low will cause neck and shoulder strain and can complicate (or even cause!) wrist and hand pain. This clever person created a COVID toilet paper stand to bring their monitor up to eye level.
3. Place your keyboard and mouse at a level that allows your arms to relax and your elbows to rest at a 90* bend. If you have a table that’s too high it will cause shoulder, arm, wrist, and hand pain. We’ve even seen people with shooting pain from the shoulder down into the arm from a mouse setup that’s too high! Consider placing a small table under your taller table (like this $9 TV tray table) to bring your keyboard and mouse down to the correct height.
4. If your only option is to use a laptop then it is strongly advised to fit it with an external keyboard and mouse. Because a laptop is all one piece it’s impossible to have both the
monitor and the keyboard at the correct height. With an external keyboard and mouse, you can place the laptop on a stand to raise the monitor to eye level on a stand.
5. If you’re experiencing low back discomfort place a rolled towel in the small of your back and lean against it while sitting at your workstation. The towel should be about 4″ in diameter and rolled tightly, fixed in place with a rubber band or two. Place the towel below your ribs but above your belt. Lean back to fix the towel in place- the roll will keep a protective curve in your low back and the towel will start to slip if you begin to slouch. (This tip also works well while traveling on airplanes or road trips… for when those options are available to us again!).
6. Low back stretches can be very helpful after a long day of sitting. Try this one and this one!
6. Avoid spending too much time working from the couch. While the couch is comfy for a short time it will not support you properly for very long and can lead to both low and midback pain.
During this work-at-home time, we’ve seen a number of poor ergonomic injuries come into the office. If you are experiencing pain that’s preventing you from properly completing your activities of daily living, chiropractors are open and ready to serve you- so you can continue to do all the things that you need to every day.
HealthWorks: A Family Wellness Center is a chiropractic and wellness center located in Plano, Texas. Our chiropractors, Dr. Christy Flick and Dr. Jennifer Taylor, have been helping patients function better since starting private practice in 2005. For information about this article or other chiropractic questions, please contact our office at 972-612-1800.