Working at home has a lot of advantages, but it has its downsides as well. With greater flexibility in your day also comes the responsibility of setting goals for yourself, and long work hours sometimes come at the expense of a healthy spine and good posture. Fortunately, there are many factors you can control to help you keep your back happy. With your well-being in mind, Beauty Wellness Fusion shares some tips:
While it can be tempting to sprawl on the couch or curl up in bed with your laptop, your back will not thank you for this over the long-term. Whatever type of desk and chair you prefer, Ergonomic Trends recommends arranging your workspace so you are able to keep your body in alignment, with your back straight and your computer screen at eye level so that you do not have to bend your neck up or down to look at it. Topped off with an ergonomic chair and you’ll be able to stay more comfortable and productive.
An alternative but equally valid option is to use a standing desk. It’s a great way to feel more energized throughout the day, and it can help you with other health goals like staying more active and lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Per Harvard Health Publishing, maintaining a healthy weight is vital for keeping your spine in good shape, as your back is responsible for keeping your body upright. Because the body’s weight is primarily in the front, that weight is constantly pulling your spine forward. As your back continues to counteract that movement, your discs can degenerate more over time. Losing weight through diet and exercise can reduce spinal pressure.
When you work at home, it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling like you have the whole day to fit in an exercise routine. Often, if you have not set aside a specific time to do so, things can get in the way and, before you know it, the day is gone, so make sure that you schedule your workouts and keep to them.
One of the best exercises for your overall wellness, and one that is especially easy to do at home with limited equipment, is yoga. Building up your core muscles is important for a healthy spine, and yoga is one of the more gentle ways of doing that. If you are already experiencing discomfort, there are many poses for back pain that can work your core without straining your back and help keep you out of pain.
Regular Spine Maintenance
An important way to keep your spine in optimum condition is by getting regular chiropractic care. If you haven’t had adjustments in a while, you may be surprised at how gentle they are with the latest techniques and tools. Because the nerves that go to all of your body organs come from the spine, adjustments not only help with back health but can also assist in your overall wellness.
The more stressed you feel, the more muscle tension builds up, especially the muscles from the base of your neck down along your shoulder blades. These are the same muscles that often get tense from working at a computer as well. In addition to doing yoga poses, which not only strengthen your core but can also help relieve stress, consider adding meditation to your daily routine. There are many apps that can help you with this, such as Headspace or Calm. Consider also employing stress management techniques to help keep tension at bay. This includes, deep breathing exercises, derailing worrisome thought trains in their tracks, neck rolls and even identifying potential triggers and having a solution to manage them.
Even if you don’t currently work at home or only do so part-time, the above tips can help you maintain a healthy spine whatever your day-to-day schedule looks like. Your back literally supports you; the more you do to support it, the better you will feel now and as you and your spine age.