If you have the option to be working from home right now, there's a chance you're still sampling different corners of your home, trying to find the best and most productive station possible. But, if you regularly deal with back or neck pain, that couch and coffee table setup might not be cutting it.
To help you create an at-home working environment with proper ergonomics, we reached out to Adam Fritsch, PT, DPT at Athletico Physical Therapy, for some advice.
Secure a Space
If you have a desk in your home, clear off the old magazines and envelopes and label this space as your working station.
"Not only will it help you get the best ergonomic setup but it should help you stay mentally focused, as well," Fritsch says.
"It can be hard to get into work mode when you're sitting in your kid's playroom or on your couch."
Not everyone has a desk at home, though. In that circumstance, Fritsch says your next best option to prevent back and neck pain is a chair with a seat back at the kitchen table.
"You can also use a tray table sitting in a chair with a back if needed, too. At a minimum, you'll want a table for your computer and a chair with a back."
Take Breaks and Move
Regardless of how you're set up for work, Fritsch says the best thing you can do to prevent neck or back pain is to get up at least once an hour and move around.
"Our bodies are designed to move, so getting up at least once every hour to take a break, move, and walk around is important," he explains.
"Take 5-10 minutes to change position and get your body moving. It's easy to get caught up in work, so you can also set a timer on your phone to remind yourself to get up each hour."
Adjust Your Screen
Find yourself slouching over your laptop? Without a monitor, it can be very difficult to create a solid ergonomic position.
Fritsch says that, ideally, you'd want your monitor at about eye level in order to prevent your neck from extending up or down.