This article was written in partnership with HR Tech Series.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, a lot of people had to shift from a corporate setting to work from home environment. Although in the initial stage this news may have sounded a godsend but certainly it turned into pain in the back and neck as we slouched over our laptops for an extended period of time. This element of the COVID-19 lifestyle can take a huge toll on our long-term health. The situation may prove to cause more havoc on employees with the pre-existing issue of neck and back pain.
According to the study published in psychiatry, it shows that physical activities in the most active participants are reduced to 32% due to the increased sedentary behaviors during the pandemic. In this home-bound situation, professionals make use of the less-than-ideal setup of shifting their desks in living rooms, dining rooms, or kitchens. Even most remote workers don’t think about changing their at-home office by including some ergonomic elements of their station.
When you sit on a couch, bed, or sofa, you don’t maintain the correct posture that affects your health. It put a lot of strain on your body tissues which can lead to chronic pain in your neck and pain. If you think you can manage this problem by doing a workout during lunch then it’s not a solution for it. Even, it will end up bringing more harm than good.
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It’s the responsibility of HR professionals and team managers to give importance to their employees as they work from home. Here we are sharing some useful tips that can help remote employees to manage their sitting pain.
• No more slouching
Slouching can lead to acute stress on your spine and neck. It is not worth keeping your eye contact steady through a Zoom meeting. You should adjust your screen height and change the angle in the right position at which you can hold your gaze throughout the day. This will give you some ease and reduce the chances of neck pain. You can lower down your desk chair, raise the adjustable desk or place a solid box between your monitor and the surface of the desk that can allow you to get the right height. It is recommended that top of the monitor should fall just below your eye level as it will prevent over extending of your neck as you read. When it comes to a laptop, it is a little complicated task. In such a scenario, you can use a detached keyboard and mouse so that your laptop can be adjusted to a proper height like a monitor.
• Uplift your feet
We generally overlook our foot position through the workday but it is one of the key elements to manage our right sitting posture. The elevated surface can help in supporting your feet and provide relief in seated load as well as promotes better blood circulation. You can use a well-placed box, a couch cushion, or an under-desk footrest that works well in supporting your feet and ensure the right sitting posture. When sitting on the chair, your thighs should be well-placed at a near-90 degree angle. You adjust your footrest accordingly to get the right sitting posture. You can choose the best ergonomic footrests that can make your sitting comfortable and infuse some more movements in your day.
• Add some exercises
When you are engaged in sitting jobs, you should include some exercises in your routine to make your workday healthier and improved. For example, your eyes need special attention as you spend all day long gazing at your screen in a single position. Every 20 minutes or so, you should relax your eyes, look out of the window at something which is placed more than 20 feet away from you such as a tree, road, etc. After that, just rotate your eyes in circles to add some ocular movement. You can also take a walk around your house or do some quick stretches at your desk. You can do ground running that gives relaxation to your hip flexors and hamstrings that have been bunched up in a whole day.
• Fluff up your seat
Long hours sitting put a tremendous amount of stress on your back. According to the ergonomic experts, it has been found that sitting slightly leaned back as you might sit in the driver’s seat of a car is the best position for comfortable sitting. It offers outstanding support to your lower back and reduces the chances of back pain. If you don’t have an adjustable chair at your home then you can add a hard pillow underneath your seat to make your sitting comfortable. You can drape a soft towel around the back of your chair to make your ordinary chair comfortable to sit on. This ideal will not completely replace the need for an office chair but it will make work from home more convenient and comfortable for you.
• Proper lighting
We generally ignore this factor but it is an invisible culprit that leads to actual concerns. Proper lighting is very important to provide the right working environment to your workspace. If it is possible then you should spend some time working near a natural light source in your home. For many people, natural light works as a booster for their mood while they are working. Natural light is also easier on your eyes especially when you work on screen throughout the day. Keep your monitor away from the direct source of natural light. It is an easy and effective way to relieve eye strain and headaches.
During this COVID-19, working professionals are putting efforts into doing work from home to earn money as it doesn’t grow on trees. It is difficult to manage work from remote working but these few changes can support in eliminating the long-term health issues. By improving your sting posture and adding some gentle movement into your day, you can improve your work efficiency and enjoy a pain-free workday.