The Top Two Work-at-Home Mistakes You’re Making

As we head into colder weather and we’re still waiting for the relief of a widely-available vaccine, most of us are staying at home more and many of us are working from home. As some school districts have gone all-virtual, plenty of teachers have had to make a transition to teaching students from home instead of their usual classrooms. While people may enjoy the benefits (hey, short commute! No traffic!) there are also drawbacks (tight shoulders, sore back, headaches). Working from your laptop while sitting at the kitchen table or on the couch is a recipe for pain in your back, neck, headaches, and tense muscles. Here are the two major mistakes most people make from working at home,(plus how to fix them)…

1. What You’re Doing with Your Laptop: Yes, it’s called a laptop, but it absolutely shouldn’t be on your lap. Is it on your lap? Go ahead and look at how you’re sitting. Your head is sticking out over your chest, pointed down, and you’re holding your arms up at an unnatural angle in order to type. Do you have it on a table or desk? That’s slightly better. Is your head still looking down, sticking out over your chest? That’s not so good. If you could see yourself from the side, for every inch your ear extends beyond your chest, 15 pounds of pressure are added to your cervical spine! No wonder your neck and shoulder are killing you by the end of the day!

The Fix: Elevate your computer. If you’re working on a laptop, consider adding a separate keyboard so you can keep the keyboard level with your arms, straight out in front of you, and elevate the screen to eye-level. With your screen at eye-level, you won’t be straining to see and your neck will remain in a more neutral position.

2.What You’re Doing with Your Posture: It can be tempting to work from your couch or favorite chair – after all, you’re at home! It’s also how you can end up hurting yourself. Remember, couches aren’t meant to support you in a work environment. Slouching and overextending your head and neck will likely end up causing neck and back pain, as well as muscle tension and/or headaches.

The Fix: At home, avoid the couch and even your favorite comfy chair. Choose a more office-like chair, or even a kitchen chair, and add a pillow or rolled-up bath towel at your lower back to provide lumbar support. If you’re working from home for the foreseeable future, you may want to invest in a supportive office chair, or even a standing desk.

If you’re having a tough time because you’re working at home (or working at work), Body One PT has you covered. Not only are we offering a totally FREE Posture Program starting Jan 3, but we also offer free Injury screens at each of our three locations, and we’re always here to help get you back on track. Body One is locally owned and operated with three locations serving Central Indianapolis: North Indy/Carmel, Fishers, and Zionsville. Don’t wait to feel great, call Body One or click today!