How To Avoid Headaches And Neck Pain When Working From Home.
Updated: Dec 31, 2020
It’s not been an easy time for the world. As many unfortunately seek new jobs, others have moved their offices to their homes. There are some benefits to having a home office, more time with the kids (Yay! Or some say ney!), easier to manage time, cooking, exercise etc. But some are finding they are actually working more hours, doing extra jobs due to redundancies and developing irregular sleep patterns.
Since I have been fortunate enough to go back to work I have seen an influx of headache and neck pain patients. I want to help anyone reading this have a better quality of life if this is affecting you or a loved one.
In previous blogs and posts I have spoken about how poor posture does not necessarily cause pain, it is the amount of time that we sit in a particular position that causes pain. That’s right if we sit in one position for too long then we can develop neck pain, upper shoulder pain and headaches.
This is a quick and simple 5 point check list to keep you out of pain and keeping a good quality of life.
1. Desk ergonomics: Having a properly set workstation can back the difference between an achy neck and a happy neck.
a) Eyes need to be level with the top of the computer screen and with your head at arms length
b) Feet should be flat on the floor with the knees 90 degrees
c) Elbows need to be just slightly lower than your desk. This prevents putting too much pressure on the shoulder and causing strain.
d) Use an adjustable chair to get the right height. If this is not possible, use books to bring the screen to eye height. A foot stool or books can be used if you are struggling to keep the feet flat on the floor.
e) Here is a great little video to help you, with some exercises.
2. Drink more water: Headache is a symptom of dehydration, and it is very common that office workers do not drink enough water. The human body is 60% water and is vital for energy, mental focus, digestion and movement. There is no recommended limit but 2 litres is a good amount to drink in a day.
3. Pit stops: Taking regular breaks will limit strain, improve concentration and production. Studies show that if we work for too long at a computer we lose much concentration, make more mistakes and develop neck pain and headaches. It is recommended that we take a break every 40 minutes to stay fresh and avoid pain.
4. Move: Changing position at your desk every 20 minutes will help limit postural strain. It keeps our anatomy moving and not stagnating. Our blood is pumped around our body for a reason and that is because we are designed to move. You can slouch for 20 minutes then sit up straight for 20 minutes. Just keep changing positions.
5. Stretch and strengthen. Long hours sitting in the same position can cause strain. Certain muscle become over active and others are doing the oposit, that is switiching off. This causes what is known as muscle imbalance. The following videos will get you back in the right direction.
Chin Tuck: Strengthening:
If you are struggling then you may need some extra help. Get in contact if you feel you need that little bit extra.