• geoff hale

Ways to avoid "lockdown back pain"

Updated: Jan 24, 2021

Millions of people are less physically active than they were before Covid-19. For those working from home, the morning walk to the bus stop has gone. Days on end can be spent hunched over a laptop without ever leaving the house.

For some, that's taking a painful toll. A survey found 81% of respondents were experiencing some back, neck or shoulder pain. Almost half (48%) said they were less physically active than before the lockdown. Another study found 35% reporting new back pain while working from home. Back pain experts say those with serious or persistent problems should seek professional help, but there are things that many of us can do to help ourselves.

Try these handy tips to prevent spinal pain while your working from home.

  1. Don't just sit there! Make sure you get up and move around: walk around the room or up and down stairs, take calls and zooms standing up, do active sitting- roll the shoulders, arch the back, take deep breaths, adjust your sitting position from time to time. It all helps lubricate the joints, helps blood flow and reduces muscle strain.

  2. Set an alarm- a timely reminder to move, take that break and mobilize.

  3. Sort out your workspace. Adjust your chair, adjust the height of your PC- your eyes should be level with the screen-try a lumbar support, use a separate keyboard for your laptop and make sure your feet are planted on the floor.

  4. Get better sleep-regular exercise helps with this as does avoiding electronic devices for an hour before bedtime. Reading or listening to music can help de-stress, anything to reduce worry and stress.

  5. Try "desk exercises" or "active sitting." If you are unable to get up, try moving in your chair- shoulder rolls, back arching, rocking the pelvis side to side, turning the head side to side and raising up your arms can all help. Spines are not meant to be still all the time. There are so many benefits to moving and exercising but just do what you can and you'll feel better for it and prevent problems with your neck and back.

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