More About Improving Your Working from Home for Your Back

The never-ending pandemic has kept many of us from our offices. Working from home with Zoom meetings and power lunches with our cat has replaced that nice, well-designed office for millions of people. And many of them will never go back. But while our kids and the environment are all big fans of us working from home and not spending hours in our cars, our backs might not be benefitting to the same degree.

In January’s first DFW blog, we got into a couple strategies to protect your back in this new world of working from home. Let’s get into a few more in this second blog.

Add something for your lumbar spine

Your fancy office chair likely has an area at the bottom that pushes inwards. This is lumbar support, and it’s a good thing. That’s because our spine has a natural curve down at the bottom, and it likes a little support down there.

In January’s first blog we talked about adding cushion to the bottom of your chair with a folded-up towel. Well, take another old beach towel out of the linen closet and roll it up like a yoga mat. Now place that rolled-up towel between your lower back and your chair back.

Put your feet up

When sitting, your hips and thighs should form a 90-degree angle, if possible. But it also feels good to put your feet up on an elevated surface at times. Moving them back and forth and stretching them is also good. If you’re lucky enough to have a home office chair that reclines, releasing it from time to time helps stretch your legs and lower back.

Elevate your laptop

Laptops have become the new desktop during this wave of working from home, and that’s not perfect. Compared to your desktop, your monitor of your laptop is either going to be too low or the keyboard is going to be too high.

Ideally, your monitor should be just below eye level, so that you don’t have to strain your neck to read the screen. One way to fix this if you’re doing a reading-intensive task is to put your laptop up on a stack of books or a box. When you need to type you can take it down to create that 90-degree bend in your elbows.

Not perfect. One solution would be to go back to a desktop setup at home, if you are able.

Take breaks

For many of us, this has been one of the truly great things about this new working from home situation. We can get up and take a walk around the block. We can walk out and pull a couple weeds in the backyard. We can play a hand or two of crazy eights with the kids.

Make these breaks a habit. If you need to set a 30-minute timer, do so. Then take a break for three to five minutes. Walk around. Look out the window. Whatever. Just take breaks.

Who knows how this all will shake out in the end? Regardless if you stay at home or go back to the office, think of things you can do to keep your back happy. If you’re at home for good, look into an office chair. Make an office, even if it’s in an old closet or something. Just make plans to make it a little more ergonomic.

If the pandemic has been stressing your back as much as the rest of you, give Dr. Tinley a call at DFW Center for Spinal Disorders, (817) 916-4685.

Posted in: Spinal Disorders


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