How to Prevent Back Pain While Working from Home
Sitting at a desk all day can cause you or your employees back to hurt, but there are things that can be done to prevent back pain while working. Here are some tips from the ergonomics experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. on how to prevent back pain while working at home.
Projections show that over 36 million Americans will be working from home by 2025. Compared to 2019, this is an almost 90% increase in work-from-home jobs. Every workplace must ensure their remote workers avoid any increased risk for back pain.
In the office, human resources or the office management will usually hire an ergonomics expert to perform an ergonomics assessment. However, what about ergonomic assessments for a home office? With the rise of remote work, companies like Solutions Northwest Inc. are now offering virtual ergonomics assessments that can show offices and employees how to prevent back pain and solve that mysterious increase in back pain after some time working at home.
In fact, our ergonomics consultants have put together a complete guide unique to remote workers and how to prevent back pain, so keep reading for more information!
Types of Back Pain
Typically, there are three types of back pain: nerve, muscle, and bone. Nerve pain feels distinctly different than musculoskeletal pain – it usually presents like sharp, burning, or stinging pain.
In some instances, it can also present with numbness to the touch or changes in skin sensation. Muscle strains happen when the tissue becomes overstretched. Sitting all day long can put your back and spine in an awkward or uncomfortable position, leading to this type of back pain.
Over time, chronic inflammation and poor posture can affect the nerves exiting your spine and lead to other types of pain.
Potential Causes of Back Pain While Working
One of the causes of back pain while working is likely what you are doing right now: sitting. Not all types of sitting can cause back pain, but a slouched posture can lead to changes in muscles and tissues. Other causes of back pain are: degenerative problems, nerve or spinal cord issues, fibromyalgia, pregnancy, advancing age, low fitness levels, and even genetics.
If you sit all day long and notice lingering pain when you go to stand up, there are some simple solutions you can start implementing for getting rid of back pain.
How To Prevent Back Pain
Stopping and preventing back pain while working from home starts with a virtual ergonomics assessment. Ergonomics in the workplace means creating an environment that allows you to work efficiently and comfortably within your limitations. Here are some simple ways you can start creating a better ergonomic workspace:
- Work at appropriate heights (e.g., don’t hunch)
- Use adjustable office chairs
- Consider standing desks
- Follow 20/20/20 rules
- Don’t use your couch or bed
- Take brief walks
When sitting at a desk, you want your elbows close to 90° and your wrists in a neutral position. Your feet shouldn’t dangle, and your head and neck need to be in a neutral position.
Quality office chairs or opting for a standing desk can help keep the natural curvature of your lumbar spine and decrease added strain. Lastly, the benefit of a virtual ergonomics assessment is you can have a professional evaluation of what you can change that can quickly answer the question: why does my back hurt?
Related article: “Sitting vs Standing at Your Desk”
Work From Home Comfortably
Working from home has become a new norm, and it can offer better flexibility, comfort, and decrease work stress. Yet, if back pain prevents employees from getting work done and limits productivity, it’s time to look into how to prevent back pain for remote workers.
Ensure remote workers work from home comfortably and efficiently –contact the ergonomics experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. for information on ergonomics assessments both in-person and virtual. Virtual ergonomics assessments can be done remotely (all you need is access to e-mail or a smart phone) and are an affordable investment.
At SolutionsNW.com we value the importance of a positive workplace culture. Part of a positive workplace is a safe workplace, Contact Us to schedule an ergonomics consultation or ergonomics assessment for your office today.
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