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5 Easy Ways to Protect Your Spine While Working from Home

Things sure have changed a lot and very quickly in the world! Have you found yourself working from home? Are you homeschooling your kids, or watching them learn from their teachers through a laptop screen? Maybe you’re taking some time to yourself and that involves a lot of sitting and watching Netflix and surfing the web.

In any case, our home offices and spaces are often quite different from our workspaces. We may not have as much access to ergonomic equipment or because we’re not being watched… our postures might be a little silly. For the first week or so, working from the couch or our beds might even seem like a dream come true! Unfortunately, that can put a lot of stress on our bodies and leave us feeling uncomfortable or in pain.

To help you through this we’ve come up with a list of 5 simple things you can do to save your spine while you’re in your makeshift workspace!

  1. Lift your Laptop! – If you’re working at a kitchen table, countertop or home desk, your laptop might be positioned too low. Having a laptop that sits parallel with your chest means you’re probably having to lower your neck and round your shoulders to see what’s happening on the screen. The longer you sit in this position the more likely you are to lean forward and bend your neck without thinking about it. Ouch! To save yourself, stack your laptop up on some sturdy shoeboxes or large books so that it is level with your face. This will allow you to keep a more upright posture and eliminate the need to lean forward and down.
  2. Go Wireless! – Have you ever sat on the phone while trying to do something else? Your neck and shoulder can cramp up quite easily from sitting in an awkward position for too long. Technology is here to help! Using a wireless device like a headset or even a speaker can save you from that strain. Wireless keyboards and mice can also help you shift your workspace into a more comfortable set up as well. Remember, you want to keep your elbows and wrists supported to prevent pain and discomfort.
  3. Take a Trip to the Linen Closet! – Don’t have a nice cushioned office chair at home? Don’t sweat it. A simple thin cushion or towel can solve that problem quickly! You can use the thin cushion or roll up the towel and place it behind you along your lumbar spine. This will align your body into a nice upright posture and help prevent lower back pain
  4. Stand Up! – You don’t need a fancy standing desk to change positions while you work. We’ve already suggested using a box to change the height of your laptop while sitting at a desk; and you can use that same trick to set your computer or laptop up at the kitchen counter, or any other flat surface! Just make it an appropriate height for your standing height. You can also use a wireless device or put your phone on speaker to stand up and walk around during conference calls. We recommend alternating between periods of sitting and standing as well, to keep your body moving in different ways.
  5. Stretch it OUT! – Make sure everybody in your family takes frequent breaks to stretch and move around during their day. Once every hour or so you can do neck rolls, hamstring stretches, and gentle spinal twists. If you want some more ideas for stretches that you can do, you can always check out our “3 Stretches to Do During a Commercial Break” blog. We are also posting useful stretches on our Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Things have the potential to be quite stressful right now, so take plenty of breaks mentally and physically to help keep yourself feeling your best. We hope you find these tips useful!

Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only, it is not intended to diagnose, treat or prevent any illness or disease. Please consult a professional for your healthcare needs.

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