Guide to working from home back pain
Are you experiencing back pain while working from home? You’re not alone. A risky blend of poor ergonomics and unhealthy habits has left many people experiencing more back problems at home than they do in the office. Find out what it is, how it’s caused and what you can do to prevent and manage it in this working from home back pain guide.
What causes working from home back pain?
Back pain is a common but complex issue that has many causes. It can happen suddenly, or take a long time to develop. It can come from a medical condition, an unhealthy lifestyle, or even a sudden awkward movement. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to back pain, which is why it’s so important to seek medical advice from your GP.
Working from home itself will not necessarily cause back pain, but working from home without suitable equipment and healthy habits can increase your risk.
Common working from home back pain causes:
Is homeworking a back pain risk?
Working from home is only a back pain risk if appropriate measures are not put in place. If you are employed, your employer is responsible for making sure you have suitable equipment and training to set up healthily.
Studies show that back pain increased when office workers became homeworkers during the pandemic lockdown
How to reduce your risk of work from home back pain
Working from home has many perks, from better work-life-balance, to reduced costs and emissions. However, to avoid back pain while working from home, it’s important to develop healthy habits with posture, positioning and regular movement.
1. Invest in ergonomic equipment
Laptop stand or monitor arms
Keyboard to suit your role
2. Check your posture and positioning
Suitable ergonomic equipment enables you to find a good posture and set-up at your desk — but what do you need to know to get there?
3. Take regular movement breaks
No matter how good your workstation set-up is, taking regular movement breaks is still crucial for reducing your risk of work from home back pain.
Scientists at Cornell University say you should break every working day into 30-minute chunks. Within each chunk, spend 20 minutes sitting, eight minutes standing, and two minutes moving or stretching.
Tips for sitting
Tips for standing
Tips for moving/stretching
Sitting all day is bad for us. According to the NHS, sedentary behaviour can: