For many people, this lockdown has been synonymous with a radical change in our daily lives: working from home. But whereas we may not have felt particularly uncomfortable at the office, for some, aches and pains have now started to appear. There has therefore been a rise in tension, back, neck and shoulder pain, lumbago, and even musculoskeletal injuries...
Sitting all day on your couch, with a computer on your lap, is not the best position to be in. We now know exactly how much we need to exercise to offset a day of sitting around. But it's always better to go the extra mile and develop some healthy habits right off the bat.
Here are four tips on how to work in a comfortable position, give your back some relief, and work from home with greater peace of mind.
The right habits
Although the sofa may seem like the most comfortable place to sit, a chair is your best ally. Make sure that you are sitting comfortably, without bending your back forward, or sitting too upright. Your feet should be on the floor, and the pelvis well supported. If your chair isn't supportive, use a cushion or a rolled-up towel. This will relieve your lumbar support. Finally, it is important to be in as neutral a position as possible, with no part of the body being 'twisted.'
Adjusting your equipment
Your computer screen should be positioned so that your neck is straight, not tilted like when you're looking at a mobile phone. If you are working on a laptop, you can place it on a stack of books or a box. By raising your line of vision, you will avoid any uncomfortable tilting of the head. Ideally, you should have a separate keyboard and mouse, so that your arms stay close to your body and relaxed, so as not to create tension in your shoulders.
Above all, don't wait until you're in pain. Every 20 to 30 minutes, get up and move around a little. Take your calls standing up, or take advantage of this opportunity to drink some water, for example. This promotes circulation and relaxes strained muscles and joints. You can also change which position you're in; work for a bit while standing up, then while sitting on the floor with your back well supported... There is one position which is not recommended, however: sitting with crossed legs. Finally, regular physical activity for 30 minutes a day is also beneficial.
Relieving pain with exercise
After a hard day's work, consider taking a few minutes to stretch your back. While sitting or standing, first raise your arms above your head, while stretching as much as possible. Try not to arch your back. You can then tilt your bust forward towards your thighs. Knots in the trapezius area? Rotate your shoulders back and forth. For the neck, gently lower your right ear onto your right shoulder, then alternate.
If your back problems continue to intensify, don't hesitate to consult a health professional, through remote consultation if necessary.