Pandemic Postural Pain Problem
Updated: Nov 28, 2020
Many people of you are now working from home due to COVID-19. The result is that you are likely spending even more time sitting at a desk or kitchen/dining table and staring at a screen for hours than when you actually went to your office. In the past couple of months, a lot of patients have come in to see me suffering from headaches, neck/shoulder pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and low back problems. These have predominately been due to poor posture and lack of activity resulting from working at home
I have been teaching these fundamentals to all my chiropractic patients and feel its important to share with you as you continue to adapt to this new normal.
HEAD POSITION: Adjust your chair or computer monitor so that your eyes are at the level of the top of your computer monitor. Looking up or down at your monitor will strain your neck resulting in headaches and neck tension. Let's keep that head in a neutral position where the weight of your noggin is carried by the spine not by your neck muscles.
ELBOW POSITION: Check that your elbows are close to you waist and body as you type and that they are at 90 degrees. To achieve this, you may want to put your keyboard on your lap or purchase a keyboard tray that will get your keyboard and mouse lower than your desktop. No more arched wrists while typing and no more excessive reaching with the mouse.
KNEE POSITION: Again you want your knees at about 90 degrees so adjust your chair height accordingly. In fact, your knees should be at a slightly lower height than your hips. Don't cross your legs when sitting. Keep your feet flat on the floor, or put a stool under your feet if you are "undertall"! :)
And most importantly...
MOVE IT: We are not meant to be static beings. Movement is LIFE! Make it a priority to get up at least every hour for just 5 minutes (10 minutes is better!) to stretch, walk around, swing your arms, do a few squats or burpees...anything else! In addition, we don't need to sit in "perfect" posture all day either. Shifting your body position frequently is ok and normal. By moving more, your body and mind will be more refreshed and you will be more productive if you are not in pain.
Making these changes combined with chiropractic care will get you feeling better soon!