Since work from home has begun due to the COVID-19 lockdown, have you experienced aches and pains, especially in your lower back region? 

If yes, then you’re not alone! Online consultations with Orthopedics on Practo witnessed a growth of 400% since the March 2020 lockdown. Problems like spinal strain and lower back pain related to severe work pressure have topped the online consultation queries.

With no proper ergonomic chairs or furniture at home, most of you have been working either on your dining table, on a couch, or the bed. And as a result, your spine doesn’t have proper support.

Initially, you will experience slight discomfort or pain and not consider it to be something serious. But, with work from home becoming the new normal, it is important to pay attention to your spine posture. 

Do’s and Don’ts to prevent severe lower back pain and injuries

Do’s:

1. Sit back in your chair

Correct sitting posture is the key to a healthy spine and lower back. When you hunch forward and sit in your chair, your lumbar spine bends out and puts a lot of pressure on the lumbar discs. This can cause severe musculoskeletal problems. 

  • Try and sit back in your chair so most of your body weight is supported by the back of the chair. 

  • Sit comfortably and close enough to your keyboard and mouse to avoid bending forward to look into your screen. 

2. Support your lower back, it needs it a lot more!

If the chair does not have good lower-back support, roll up a cushion or a towel and place it horizontally in the curve of your lower back. Although it’s a quick and less effective substitute for an ergonomic chair, something is better than nothing! Additionally, use a stool to rest your legs on and sit at a 90-degree angle.

3. Stretch, stretchh and sttretcchhh

Sitting continuously for long hours results in pain and reduced mobility. Also, lack of regular physical movements shortens and tightens body muscles. 

Remember:

  • Every 20 to 30 minutes, stand, stretch and move around for a minute or two to promote circulation and relax muscles

  • Drink water and stay hydrated throughout the day

  • Exercise or work out regularly for increased body movements

4. Don’t get too comfortable on your bed

Sitting on the bed and working for long hours can be very harmful to your back. If the bed is the only option, use a pillow to rest your back against the headboard and place the laptop on a low table at a comfortable height without straining your neck.

5. Do not slump or hunch, you’re not a sloth bear!

Avoid slumping in your chair, hunching over your desk and walking around with your shoulders hunched up. Increase the height of your laptop using books or use a footstep to increase your height to reach the monitor.

Lastly, do not sit on a floor for a long time with the laptop on your lap. If you experience severe pain, do not ignore any signs and symptoms. Consult your doctor immediately.