If you’ve been working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic or you just got a new job where you’ll be working remotely, you may encounter a problem you haven’t considered: joint pain.
How you set up your workspace can play a role in developing or limiting joint pain, so you’ll want to pay careful attention during set up.
Many of us just toss our laptop on the kitchen table and start typing. Others may sit on the sofa with the computer on their lap. Some others may even sit on the floor.
If you’re lucky enough to have a full home office with a desk and ergonomic chair, consider yourself lucky!
Sitting at a computer all day with poor posture can lead to pain in your neck, back, shoulders, wrists, and hips. How you set up your workspace, therefore, can be a way to mitigate some severe discomfort.
First off, forget about popping your laptop on your lap. Even though that’s the proper name, using it as such is not a good move if you’re on the computer for hours at a time. Neither is sitting on the floor.
If you don’t have a desk, use a tabletop and full-backed chair. Ensure that your feet are flat on the floor and your thighs are parallel to the ground. If needed, use a footrest so your feet can sit firmly. You’ll then want about 3-6 inches of space between your thighs and keyboard.
To keep your back straight and supported, placing a small pillow or rolled blanket at the base of your seat can help.
Purchasing an adjustable tabletop desk is worth the cost of protecting your back, shoulders, and neck. You can get one for about 20 bucks, and they can ensure your screen is at eye level and your arms maintain a relaxed, natural position when typing.
When your shoulders and neck aren’t rolled forward, there is far less of a chance of pain. Adjustable tabletop desks are a great solution, and many of them can be adjusted to act as standing desks as well.
Getting upright as much as possible is another way to reduce pain while working from home. Without the opportunity to walk to meetings, chat with co-workers, or get to the water cooler, you may find you move less while working from home.
Immobility can also contribute to pain and movement problems. Make an effort to get up about every 30-60 minutes for 5-10 minutes and walk around.
Working from home can pose several challenges, including body aches and pain. Set up your workspace to limit stress on the body, and be sure to stay active.