Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, we have been working from home en masse. This prevents additional infections and offers many an opportunity to be more flexible with their work. Unfortunately, working from home also comes with a serious disadvantage: it is bad for your back and shoulders. According to physiotherapist and sports scientist Einte Rinsma, the number of people with arm, neck, and back problems has grown considerably since we started working from home.
A bad attitude
According to Mol’s estimate, we sit still for about 12 hours a day, including our free time. However, our muscles are not built for this. Your entire condition and circulation will deteriorate as a result. While you still walk around the office to a meeting, or to grab some coffee, we often sit in one place at home and only get out of it when the working day is over.
According to the TNO, many home workers need additional tools to set up their work as well as possible. While many companies do offer this option, few people have taken advantage of it yet. This is partly because many people thought they would soon have to travel to work again.
How do you optimally set up your workplace for working from home?
1. Switch positions regularly
By regularly changing positions, your muscles remain active and you also activate different muscle groups. This helps your blood flow and maintains your fitness. You can purchase a sit-stand desk for this, or an attachment for your dining table. Sitting on the edge of your seat also helps.
2. Adopt a stable attitude when working from home
Place your feet on the floor when you sit and make sure they can stand flat. Your back should be well supported by a backrest and your arms should be at approximately a 110-degree angle. Your wrists should also not have too much freedom of movement. Only 5 degrees is sufficient for this.
3. Move more
Take regular short breaks of a few minutes. Walk around your house, stretch your legs, or take a short walk outdoors. By staying in motion, you keep your muscles active and less likely to get stuck. A breath of fresh air can also help if you suffer from a blockage in your work.
4. The best display for working from home
The screen of your computer or laptop is often a lot lower than where our eyes look straight ahead. In an ideal situation, your screen is positioned in such a way that you do not have to nod your head downwards because that is how you secure your cervical vertebrae.
And if you do have problems with your neck, back, or shoulders?
Then you shouldn’t keep it warm, says Einte Rinse. Many pain complaints are caused by small inflammations that get worse with heat. It is best to cool the spots. Cooling for twenty minutes, resting for twenty minutes, and then cooling for another twenty minutes will help to drain the inflammation and relieve the pain. In case of prolonged pain, it is wise to see a physiotherapist.