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Those days are gone when only a few people worked from home, and the rest commuted to their workplaces for a job. The outbreak of COVID-19 has compelled us to reshape our lives in significant ways. Many governments have administered lockdown to manage social distancing, and firms have shifted their regular work to work-from-home mode to earn some profit.
Working from home has a myriad of benefits, but it can be awful for your posture. A handful of people are lucky to have an ergonomic work-from-home space, while the majority are adjusting in their compact homes. People are using their furniture as a work desk, which means sitting in an uncomfortable position for an extended period. The wrong posture causes hindrance in blood circulation. It can be a reason of various diseases since the pandemic continues to evolve so we can safely assume that we would have to carry our work-from-home for a while.
Sitting upright and facing a computer screen for hours at a stretch takes a toll on people’s health. Pain in the shoulder and neck are common complaints. The good news is that incorporating a few changes in your work routine can help to prevent these aches and allow you to work from home efficiently.
The following are a few ways which can help you in preventing neck and shoulder pain:
When you are seated in the same posture for a long while, it makes your muscles stiff, and a simple movement of nodding your head becomes painful. An easy way of preventing it is to stand up and stretch your body at regular intervals. Stretching makes the body flexible and gives you freedom of movement. Since people are now working from home, many of them do not bother to sit correctly and tend to work while staying in bed. That leads to muscle imbalances, which cause pain in the neck and strain the shoulders. Stretching specific groups of shoulders and arms muscles reduce musculoskeletal pain, which helps in proper muscle alignment and, in turn, improves one’s posture.
2. Walking Around
A break from work to take a walk seems like a simple thing, but it has impressive effects on physical, emotional, and mental health. It freshens up one’s mind and increases performance. If you are working from home, continually staring at the computer will ultimately drain your energy in a short span. Leaving your space and taking a short walk around the house can instantly lift your spirits and positively impact your working. Taking a stroll in a park or towards your favorite grocery store is a luxury that you may not be able to afford right now. But that does not mean that you strain your legs and shoulders by staying glued to one place continuously. Moving around the house will prevent the straining of the neck and shoulders.
3. Neck-free Talking
Working from home means calling and replying to messages and emails back and forth. Many people still feel uncomfortable talking with earphones as they believe it distorts voice and gives room to misunderstanding. They prefer talking with handheld devices while typing on the computer. When we hold a phone between our neck and shoulder, it can strain the muscles, slow down the blood flow, and lead to severe pain. To prevent it, you can use speakers, ear pods, or a headset so that you do not have to tilt your head and put pressure on your neck.
4. Jumping Jacks
Indulging, in a regular exercise regime or incorporating jumping jacks in your existing routine, has plenty of advantages. It helps in relieving stress, brightens one’s mood, and ease body aches. The practice of jumping jacks straighten up the posture and averts pain in neck, shoulders, and back. People who have to look down at their screens continually suffer from the acute throbbing of veins around the shoulders and neck. If someone ignores this for a longer duration, the pain could become insufferable, and sometimes surgery is the only cure. Jumping jacks does not require any fancy equipment; neither does it need a huge space. You can easily take time out for yourself and do jumping jacks in your abode.
5. Correct Posture
You need to remember that neglecting your health will not be fruitful in any way; if anything, it will harm your performance. When we use a computer or laptop for a lengthy period, we tend to ignore the correct posture, which causes the straining of muscles in the elbow and arms. Experts say that the ideal position of a keyboard is slightly below the height of one’s elbows with a little gap between your body and it. The correct positioning of the keyboard allows blood circulation without obstruction, which relaxes the upper body.
6. Shoulder Rolls
Shoulder rolls do not require you to lift your hands from the keyboard, and you can easily roll your shoulders backward and forward while continuing your work. Opening up the chest helps in alleviating and preventing all kinds of upper body pain.
7. Stick to Work Hours
We have read plenty of articles that warn us that excessive exposure to the screen is terrible for our overall wellbeing. People tend to get carried away while working from home and do not realize that it is time to stop. You should strictly adhere to work hours routinely, and once the time is up, put your work to rest. Only answer work emails and phone calls during work hours and avoid indulging in anything personal. Once working hours are over, do not give your attention to anything related to work.
Sitting on your desk for eight hours straight can cause havoc in your body. Tilting of the neck and dropping down of the shoulders while looking at the computer screen for long hours results in acute aching in the upper body. Another reason people suffer from upper body pain and muscle strain is staying in one position for a long duration. Taking a break, incorporating some exercises during work hours, and keeping yourself active, among other ways shared above, will enhance your performance.