Working at Home a Pain in Your Neck? Try These Posture and Ergonomic Tips

American Chiropractic Association

Newswise — Arlington, Va. —With so many people working from home these days to maintain social distancing from their colleagues, many are developing musculoskeletal pain. Improving posture and ergonomics is a proactive way to take care of your body while working remotely, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA).

“I have received countless calls from people who developed musculoskeletal pain soon after beginning work from home,” said ACA member Karen Erickson, DC, who practices in New York City. “Upon careful analysis, we found a common cause: working on a desktop, laptop or cell phone with poor posture or a poor ergonomic set-up.”  

Dr. Erickson says postural imbalance is one of the most common reasons patients seek help from chiropractors. “Most of us slouch, text constantly, tip our head and hold our telephone to our ear, and sit at the computer all day with our shoulders and neck rounded forward with legs crossed,” she explains. “Our bodies are suffering.” 

To reduce stress on the body, Dr. Erickson offers the following work-at-home suggestions: 

  • You might need a quiet room to work or specialized software that keeps you pinned to your desk. For everything else, identify a few places in your home where you can work, and change body position and location throughout the day. Find ways to work standing, walking and sitting. 
  • Sit in a good chair—even a wooden one—on your sit bones (the bones at the very bottom of your pelvis), with a little arch in your low back. Avoid the slouch, that half-sitting, half-lying position so many use to lounge on the sofa or in bed. If you want to work in bed or on the sofa, sit up on your sit bones.  
  • When sitting, put both feet on the floor with a right angle at your knees. Avoid crossing legs or tucking in feet. Good posture means the bones carry the weight of your body. Aligning your posture lets your bones do the work, not your muscles. This prevents muscle spasm, pain and inflammation. It can even prevent nerve pain and headaches.
  • Use a keyboard tray and pull it out over your lap. If you use a laptop, use it as a screen only, placing it at eye level with a stand or a stack of books. Get a remote keyboard to use with a keyboard tray.  
  • To avoid neck pain, keep your sc​reen a​t eye level whether you use a laptop or monitor. Put books underneath your monitor to raise it or use a stand, if necessary. 
  • Shoulders should be dropped and relaxed, with elbows hanging down, centered at the seam line of your shirt. Don't use the keyboard with your elbows reaching forward. This could cause isometric spasm in your neck and/or shoulders and arms, leading to pain and inflammation.  
  • Keep your sternum or breastbone lifted. This keeps your torso, head and shoulders erect. Letting the sternum collapse down will pull the head forward and compresses your torso.
  • Avoid forward head position. Keep your head erect, in line with your torso. Keep your screen at eye level. For every inch your head is forward it increases the weight on your upper back and neck by 10 pounds! If you use a cell phone, rest your elbows on your chest and hold the phone at eye level.  
  • Use a telephone headset so you don’t have to crunch your neck when using the phone. 
  • Remember to take several exercise breaks throughout the day, even if only to empty the dishwasher, put on a load of laundry, climb the stairs a few times, do yoga, get in some planks and squats, dance, or take a short walk. 

Don’t be surprised if you catch yourself with poor posture several times a day. As your habits change, Dr. Erickson says you’ll be able to spot poor posture right away and fix it. “If you catch yourself slumping,” she adds, “just chuckle and think, ‘I can fix this.’ And fix it. Done!”

For more information on musculoskeletal health and avoiding injury, visit the American Chiropractic Association’s consumer website, HandsDownBetter.org.

 

                                                              ###

 

About the American Chiropractic Association

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) is the largest professional chiropractic organization in the United States. ACA attracts the most principled and accomplished chiropractors, who understand that it takes more to be called an ACA chiropractor. We are leading our profession in the most constructive and far-reaching ways -- by working hand in hand with other health care professionals, by lobbying for pro-chiropractic legislation and policies, by supporting meaningful research and by using that research to inform our treatment practices. We also provide professional and educational opportunities for all our members and are committed to being a positive and unifying force for the practice of modern chiropractic. To learn more, visit www.acatoday.org, and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.




Filters close

Showing results

110 of 5399
Newswise: 261790_web.jpg
Released: 14-Apr-2021 12:10 PM EDT
A novel, quick, and easy system for genetic analysis of SARS-CoV-2
Osaka University

SARS-CoV-2 is the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Newswise: COVID-19 Mortality Rates in Los Angeles County Higher in Communities with Poor Air Quality
Released: 14-Apr-2021 12:05 PM EDT
COVID-19 Mortality Rates in Los Angeles County Higher in Communities with Poor Air Quality
UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

A research project led by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health has found that Los Angeles County neighborhoods with poor air quality had the highest death rates from the pandemic.

Released: 14-Apr-2021 10:05 AM EDT
Grant accelerates McMaster University, SQI Diagnostics effort to move infection testing innovation from lab to market
McMaster University

A new grant is helping McMaster University engineers and a Toronto precision-medicine diagnostics company to get infection-testing technology to market while generating opportunities for students.

Newswise: Suppression of COVID-19 Waves Reflects Time-Dependent Social Activity, Not Herd Immunity
Released: 14-Apr-2021 10:05 AM EDT
Suppression of COVID-19 Waves Reflects Time-Dependent Social Activity, Not Herd Immunity
Brookhaven National Laboratory

Scientists developed a new mathematical model for predicting how COVID-19 spreads, accounting for individuals’ varying biological susceptibility and levels of social activity, which naturally change over time.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 14-Apr-2021 2:00 PM EDT Released to reporters: 14-Apr-2021 9:00 AM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 14-Apr-2021 2:00 PM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Newswise: So You Got Vaccinated Against COVID-19. Now What?
Released: 14-Apr-2021 8:05 AM EDT
So You Got Vaccinated Against COVID-19. Now What?
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

A slightly lighthearted guide to post-vaccination life, including how to help others who haven't gotten vaccinated yet.

Newswise: Cardiac Surgeons Lead Critical COVID-19 Research
Released: 14-Apr-2021 6:05 AM EDT
Cardiac Surgeons Lead Critical COVID-19 Research
The Society of Thoracic Surgeons

After dramatically changing its scope of work and mobilizing resources in record time, the Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network (CTSN) became a major contributor to life-changing COVID-19 research.

Released: 13-Apr-2021 4:05 PM EDT
B.1.1.7. variant more transmissible, does not increase severity, Lancet studies suggest
Lancet

An observational study of patients in London hospitals suggests that the B.1.1.7. variant is not associated with more severe illness and death, but appears to lead to higher viral load, consistent with emerging evidence that this lineage is more transmissible than the original COVID-19 strain.

Newswise: Plasma device designed for consumers can quickly disinfect surfaces
Released: 13-Apr-2021 3:05 PM EDT
Plasma device designed for consumers can quickly disinfect surfaces
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

The COVID-19 pandemic has cast a harsh light on the urgent need for quick and easy techniques to sanitize and disinfect everyday high-touch objects such as doorknobs, pens, pencils, and personal protective gear worn to keep infections from spreading.


Showing results

110 of 5399

close
1.54752