Working From Home Killing Your Back? Here are our top tips

Since COVID-19 restrictions started in 2020 there have been huge changes to our lives. One of these was the introduction of Working From Home (WFH). Almost twice as many employed Australians worked from home one or more times for per week in April 2022 when compared to March 2020.

Generally, the feedback about WFH has been great. Less wasted time on travel, less expenses for the worker and the business, more flexibility, the list goes on.

Unfortunately, what we see in clinic isn’t quite so positive.

I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t have a great set up when I’m WFH or the space to create one.

This is leading to increased incidence of neck, back, shoulder and hip pain.

So, with this WFH looking like it is a forever thing, we wanted to give you our top tips to keep your body moving at its best.

  1. Move: Without needing to walk to the office or train station we are getting less steps in for sure. Our bodies like movement. So instead of sitting for lunch make sure you use that time to go out for a little walk.
  2. Stretch: We are good at neglecting this simple task. But moving our body is the best way to keep it feeling great. Here are some of Nick’s favourite stretches to do while at your desk.
  3. Desk Set Up: There are some basic ways you can best set up your desk to ensure you aren’t stressing your spine. Check out our eBook here.
  4. Hydration: Staying hydrated not only helps your spine it also helps your organs stay happy! It also means you need to wee more. This means you are sitting less. So let’s try and make sure you are getting that 1.5-3 litres of water in per day.
  5. Maintain Regular Hours: set a schedule and stick to it. Having clear guidelines for work hours and home life begin help you maintain a work-life balance and stop you from sitting for so long!
  6. Build breaks into your schedule: There are great apps such as TimeOut for Mar and Smart Break for Windows that let you schedule your breaks into your computer. During this time you are locked out! This might force you to get those steps in!
  7. Make sure you eat a proper lunch: many struggle with the snacking that is associated with WFH! Unfortunately, this usually isn’t the healthy or nourishing option. These junk foods can cause spikes in blood sugar and inflammation, making you feel pretty average. If you are particularly challenged by this one, make your lunch in advance just as you would have to go into the office.
  8. Make personal connections: WFH has caused many to experience feelings of isolation. So make sure you still interact with others by making a quick call rather than flicking that email through.

Doing all of this but need some more help with your back or neck pain? Maybe some individualised input on your desk?

Make sure to reach out.

We would love to help

Written by Anouska Symons (Physiotherapist)