At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals were suddenly forced to work from home. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, between 2019 and 2021, the number of people primarily working from home tripled from 9 million people to 27.6 million people. This meant that those who had ergonomic office setups at work are now forced to find another office in their own home. This eventually led to the phenomenon of home office renovations, standing desks, and even treadmill desks.
A healthy back has three natural curves: An inward curve at the neck (cervical curve), an outward curve at the upper back (thoracic curve), and an inward curve at the lower back (lumbar curve). This natural curve is designed to provide both stability and flexibility. While standing, the head should align with the pelvis, but in today’s screen-centric society, many have developed a lean-forward habit that puts unnecessary strain on the back and neck. One way to help avoid this is to have your computer screen sit at, or right below eye-level. If it is placed below the natural line-of-site, the head will naturally tilt forward, creating stress in the neck muscles as they work to keep the head straight. For those who are spending an average of 40 hours per week on their computers, or cellphones, this can cause a tremendous amount of strain on your neck and back.
There are many ways to help avoid unwanted back pain. If your back muscles are tight, it will put added stress on your entire spine, including your joints. Stretching is a great way to loosen up tight muscles. If you don’t know where to start, you can look up videos online that will guide you through simple stretches.
If you are sitting for long periods of time, make sure to check-in with your posture while you are seated. Sit with your back straight and your shoulders back, while keeping your feet planted on the floor. You can also place a rolled towel or small pillow behind your low back to help alleviate any other strain you may feel.
If your daily tasks involve a lot of standing, it is also important to ensure you are maintaining good posture. Just like a healthy sitting posture, make sure to have your back straight, with your shoulders back. Keep your hips in a neutral position, and evenly distribute your weight in your feet.
If you are still experiencing back pain that is interfering with your daily life, it may be time to research a Doctor in your area that can help you reach a pain-free life. Dr. Igor Yusupov founded AZBSC Spine and Orthopedics, a practice specializing in minimally invasive techniques. Learn more at www.azbsc.com.