In this world of modern technology and the current situation, many people are now finding themselves working from home. In an office environment the ergonomics of desk, chair and computer are thought out and monitored, yet unfortunately a home office is often cobbled together.
Over the years there has been a massive increase in the number of desk workers and people in sedentary jobs who have acute and chronic back pain. A survey of 2,000 uk adults who suffer back pain – past or present (led by the British Chiropractic Association – BCA) found that almost 3 in 5 of those people (56%) experienced pain after using some form of technological device.
Ergonomics and the correct use of equipment in or out of the workplace is very important.
*Wherever you find yourself sat at, adjust your chair so that your feet are on the ground or a rest, hips slightly higher that your knees, and eyes are level with the centre of the screen. Not so easy to achieve with a laptop, therefore a separate keyboard and a laptop stand may be worth the investment.
*Where possible use a chair with arm rests which can help keep you in a better position
*Effort should be made to not stay in the same position longer than 40 minutes; take regular breaks – walk around, do a few squats and stretches to use your muscles
*Keep your arms bent in an L-shape and your elbows by your sides
*Some people like to use a wrist rest to keep their wrists straight and at the same level as the keys
*Keep your mouse close, position and use the mouse as close to you as possible. If you’re not using your keyboard, push it to one side to move the mouse closer to you
*Avoid screen reflection, your screen should be as glare-free as possible. Position the monitor to avoid reflection from overhead lighting and sunlight. If necessary, pull blinds across the windows. Adjusting the screen’s brightness or contrast can make it much easier to use
*If you’re not using your keyboard, push it to one side to move the mouse closer to you
In most of the patients we see with lower back and neck pain, the cause is often weakened muscles and postural changes due to immobility, rather than an injury through lifting or gardening. This is why activity through regular breaks and strengthening is so helpful, more advice and particularly exercises can be found on our website strengthening exercises
Where back pain is persistent, seeing a Chiropractor can be an effective treatment option. Chiropractic is most known for its use of Chiropractic manipulation which involves the chiropractor using their hands to deliver a quick thrust on a specific spinal segment to restore proper movement. Often a popping, or cracking noise results, this is a safe and harmless sound that is created by pressure changes in the joint fluid. It reduces pain and muscle tension and improves mobility.