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Is work from home hurting your back? Tips to correct your posture | Health

For many of us, pandemic time has changed the definition of office. While operating from home saves commute time, it may wreak havoc with our posture in the absence of a proper desk and chair. Over the period of time, the poor posture results in weakening of muscles and that may lead to frequent aches and pains. Often our back and neck bear the brunt of our poor sitting posture during work.

“The sedentary lifestyle and postures are to blamed for our back troubles. Most of us have moved from desks to sofas and beds and the ideal sitting posture is lost. That’s the actual reason for increase in back pain among people,” says Dr Deepa Fartode, Senior Orthopedic Physiotherapist, Aquacentric Therapy.

She feels that one could find a way around by following these simple tips:

Invest in a good ergonomic chair

“Most of the people don’t have a proper desk and chair like office. Considering we are unsure about when our normal lives will resume, it is advisable to invest in a good ergonomic chair. If that is not possible, people can use dining table chair or at least a study table for maintaining good posture,” adds Dr. Fartode, adding that one must say no to bed or sofas while working.

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Use a back support

Our spine is S-shaped, but when we sit on bed and sofa it become a C-shape and that’s when the stress on back and neck starts. Dr. Fartode advises use of lumbar rolls and if that is not possible, a towel roll or a small pillow can be placed behind the lower back for support.

Correcting the posture

It is important to maintain a 90-degree angle from your shoulder to the elbow to the rest of your body. The knee level while sitting has to be lower than your hip level so that you are not sinking in. If your hip level is lower then your lower back is affected, and that can be problematic.

“If your back is not in good posture, your neck will also suffer, so it’s important to sit correctly,” says Dr. Fartode.

Don’t lean forward

“When you are sitting on a chair, make sure that you are sitting all the way behind. Most of us are leaning forward in the chair. Our lower back and upper back should have contact with the back rest of the chair and the foot has to be rested on the ground making angle of 90 degree. The knee should be lower than your hip,” adds the doctor.

Leg space

A proper leg space is important because that would help maintain a distance from laptop and will take care of eyes as well. People tend to bend forward when they do not have a leg space, so it’s important for you to maintain a correct posture.

Laptop stands

If you are accustomed to working with laptops keeping them on your laps, it’s an incorrect posture too because we are bending our back and neck for the same. Dr. Fartode advises to use laptop stands instead to raise the level of laptop to our eye level. If not laptop one can use books to raise the height of laptop.

Take a posture break

It is advisable to get up from your chair every 35-40 minutes. It doesn’t necessarily mean coffee break, but getting up and standing helps to move your muscles. “Avoid sitting on low stools and sofa if you have back ache,” advises the doctor.

Take a walk

A genral aerobic exercise has a good impact on back health. Regular walk, swimming or cycling are beneficial. “Working on your core muscle and leading an active lifestyle can help keep up your spine health,” she says.

Dr. Fartode advises against the use of lumbar belts or corset as she says they doesn’t work on root cause and are not good for your back health. “They should be used only in case of acute pain,” she says.

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