How to Prevent Knee Pain When Working from Home
Do you suffer from knee pain during the workday? You’re not alone. A new study reports that one in every four Americans suffers from chronic knee pain.
Knee pain can occur when working from home because of a sedentary lifestyle, environmental change, poor office ergonomics, or job stress.
What Causes Knee Pain While Working?
Knee pain can happen to anyone at any age. Usually, knee pain is a result of lifestyle habits more so than a genetic predisposition. This is good news because it means with empowered decisions you can reduce, reverse, or prevent your knee pain.
Below are some common causes of knee pain:
- Intense exercise or overexercising
- Running “runner’s knee”
- Unaddressed injuries
- Being overweight
- Poor workplace ergonomics
- Bending your knees too often/for prolonged periods
- Placing heavy weight on your knees
- Crossing your legs for extended periods of time
One or a combination of these factors can cause your knee pain, below are five knee pain solutions to prevent knee pain.
1. Set Up Your Workstation Ergonomically
Since you spend about a third of your day at your workstation, how you sit while working from home has a huge influence on your knee pain. Keeping your knees bent for extended periods of time is not good. Make sure to stretch frequently or consider a standing desk.
Setting up a workstation with proper ergonomics can be a daunting task. Most workplace managers or human resource managers will hire an Ergonomics Consultant to design their employees’ workstations, whether in-office or remote. Contact your management today to see if this is something they offer. Or consider a virtual ergonomics assessment, which can be affordable enough to invest in for remote workers.
2. Strengthen Your Hips and Glutes
When the muscles surrounding the knees are weak, it puts all of the pressure of your body weight on the knees. Work on strengthening your hips and glutes with strength training twice a week. Doing so will build the surrounding muscles to protect your knees.
3. Improve Your Posture
Posture impacts everything from your vagus nerve to your knee health. It’s often overlooked.
The mid-day slump is a common cause of chronic pain for desk workers. Be mindful of your posture at all times.
Your feet should evenly touch the floor and your screen should be at eye level. Your shoulders should be relaxed on your armrests throughout your workday. Poor posture, if not addressed, will also strain the neck, back, arms, and legs.
Related article: “4 Tips to Improve Your Posture at Work”
4. Move Every Hour or Half Hour
Even if you’re sitting in the best position with the best posture, your knees “lock” into a position. This is never good for them. Keep things fluid by taking 250 steps every hour (about 2 minutes of walking).
Consider setting a timer on your phone to remind you to take a break.
Related article: “5 Reasons Work Breaks Boost Productivity”
5. Incorporate Self-Care
The workday puts a lot of stress on the body. Make sure to incorporate self-care into each work week. Go for walks, swim, get a massage, or try knee acupuncture.
Use Proper Ergonomics to Design Your Home Office Setup
Remote work is a luxury to be enjoyed. If you feel that working from home has worsened your knee pain, take charge.
Speak with your office manager or human resources manager and ask them to schedule an ergonomics assessment for your workstation.
You may also consider a virtual ergonomics consultation where a professional ergonomics consultant will advise you on simple changes that can prevent knee pain (all you need is access to e-mail or a smart phone). They’ll also address any other issues such as neck pain or carpal tunnel. Once your workstation is comfortable, you will likely find yourself working not only pain free, but in a timelier and more productive manner!
If you or your remote employees need to design an ergonomic home workspace, contact the ergonomics experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. for more information.
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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