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Prevent Back Pain While Working From Home

While working from home has become more of a reality for most of the world, due to COVID19, working with back pain isn’t something we knew we were signing up for. Many people are looking for ways to prevent back pain. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) encourages companies and businesses to be flexible in allowing employees to stay home if their work permits or to care for sick family members when needed. So, you may have found yourself in a new work environment, at your kitchen table.

How can I prevent back pain while working from home?

Studies find that most workplaces, while not mandated, typically have more ergonomic workstations or computer setups. While the average home has a work set up that usually consists of your bed, a makeshift office space, or the kitchen table. The average person is still getting used to making their home their long-term work setup. Your area and furniture may not meet the needs of your work demands and how often you have to be at a computer during the day.

Here are a few ways many Americans, just like you, prevent back pain while working from home:

Avoid Excessive Bending

Try placing your computer at eye-level or in a position where you can avoid looking down or bending over for hours.

No bed heads

Do your best to limit the amount of time you work from your bed. While it may feel like a comfortable position, in the long run, it could cause some pain because your back isn’t getting the proper support.

Stretch and take breaks

When you can, take a moment to stretch your arms and neck. Stretching helps to alleviate the pressure of your head and keeps your muscles engaged.

Hydrate

Taking frequent water breaks not only help to prevent back pain while working from home, but it promotes an overall healthy lifestyle

Are you ready to prevent back pain while working from home? I’m sure you are! Make sure you consult your physician for the best plan for you, but these are a few things you can implement to get your routine started. These suggestions may seem small, but as the weeks turn into months of working from home, you’ll be glad you did them.

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5 Easy Ways to Relieve Back Pain at Work

Hey you! Yes, you… we see you over there slouching. Even as you’re reading this, you’re hunched over your phone, tablet, or computer taking in this scolding and denying that we can actually see you. 

While all of that is true, the ironic part is that while you clicked on an article about how to relieve back pain, you are probably currently sitting or standing in a position that directly causes your back pain. So we’re going to challenge you to sit the way you’re supposed to sit for the next 3 minutes. Put your shoulders back, keep your head up, plant your feet firmly on the ground, and read on my friends.

Time starts… NOW!

Back pain is more common than you think

A large majority of our customers come to us because they are experiencing back pain in one form or another. The reality is, at least eight out of ten people in America will experience back pain at some point in their life. Astoundingly, a large majority of this back pain will become chronic back pain after a patient experiences regular discomfort over a period of at least three months. Perhaps you wouldn’t guess this, but our friends that work in offices and sit at desks all day are more likely to suffer from chronic back pain than are people who work in physically demanding jobs. 

This fact might surprise you, but when you ponder over it, it makes sense. When you are sitting for a long period of time in the same spot, your spine begins to feel added pressure to it because it’s stuck in an unnaturally curved state. In fact, 100% Chiropractic says, “Sitting in this position puts around 200 pounds of pressure on your lumbar spine, or your lower back.” No wonder you experience so much back pain. 

Luckily, we have some simple solutions to reduce or alleviate some of your back pain. These tips are easy to implement and can result in a huge difference in the amount of back pain you feel daily. 

Still sitting with good posture? Let’s jump in. 

5 Tips for Minimizing Back Pain at the Office

1. Check your chair

In a perfect world, all office chairs would have lower lumbar support to comfortably accommodate the natural curvature of your spine, allowing you to sit back comfortably. However, the reality is that most office chairs don’t. Does this mean that you should continue to have posture like the Hunchback of Notre Dame? NO. Bring in a pillow, blanket, or a towel to position behind your lower back to make sitting more comfortable.

Also, be sure to adjust the height of your chair so that your feet can rest flat on the floor. This will help keep your legs, knees, hips, and spine in better alignment. 

Side note: If you can switch your chair for an exercise ball, that will always be better than any office chair. 

2. Mind your monitor

When possible, keep your monitor high enough that you don’t have to look down at it. This will prevent your neck from being out of alignment. Lots of us work on laptops which makes it harder not to look down. We recommend propping your laptop up on books, boxes, anything that elevates it enough to where you’re not hunched over it. It’s also a good idea to have your screen about an arm’s length away from you.

3. Rock your body

Get up and move your body during the day! Don’t be stuck in the same position in the same place for eight hours a day. Stretch, dance (to NSYNC), wiggle, take a jog to the door you can’t wait to go through at the end of the day. Whatever and however you move is better than being a statue. Take short breaks, even five minutes will do, and walk around to restore your spine to its correct position and get your blood flowing. 

Side note: if you work on strengthening your core muscles, this will also help improve your posture and reduce back pain. 

4. If you're going to be a statue, be a standing statue

If you are unable to move from your desk, better than sitting all day is to stand at your desk. Standing not only helps take the pressure off of your back, but it also will help you improve your productivity due to easier blood flow and limited opportunity for lethargicness.

5. Make an appointment with your chiropractor

If nothing else, we encourage you to an appointment with a reputable chiropractor. They will be able to restore your spine to its correct alignment, reducing your back pain and helping you to live a better life. 

Your appointment doesn’t have to be with the amazing Dr. Silvio Cozzetto if our Birmingham, MI location is too far away for you (although we’d love to welcome you to our family). Your health and wellness is more important to us than your business, and we know you deserve more than to simply accept your back pain.

However, if you are looking for one of the best chiropractors in the SE Michigan area, we highly recommend you contact us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Cozzetto today. Our treatments are specially designed to fit your needs. Call us at (248) 792-6570 or schedule your appointment online today!

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5 Reasons Why a Standing Desk is a Good Idea

Whether you work in an office or work from home, researchers stated that sitting too much is not suitable for your health. Not only does sitting burn very few calories, which contributes to weight gain, but people who sit a lot every day have an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and early death. This is a problem for those of us who continuously sit all day to complete work. Fortunately, standing desks are becoming increasingly more and more popular and affordable. Now you may be asking, why should I consider using a standing desk? Surprisingly, there are various health benefits to using a standing desk in contrast to sitting down at a desk.  Here are 5 reasons why a standing desk is a good idea:

Lowers Risk of Weight Gain

One of the 5 reasons why a standing desk is a good idea is that it lowers risk of weight gain. Research shows that standing helps reduce the risk of weight gain as it burns more calories than sitting down. While exercise is the most effective way to burn calories, merely choosing to stand instead of sitting can also be beneficial. Compared to an afternoon of sedentary work, an equal amount of time spent standing has been shown to burn over 170 additional calories. Per week, that is almost 1,000 calories you are burning by simply standing! 

Reduces Back Pain

One of the most common complaints from office workers who sit all-day is back pain. Thankfully, research has shown that standing desks help improve one’s posture as well as reduce back pain. Instead of sitting down at your desk, standing helps take the pressure off your neck and lower back. Although, it is not enough to correct more severe problems, such as scoliosis or a bulging disc. 

Improves Mood and Energy Levels

In addition to this, standing desks appear to have a positive influence on one’s mood and energy levels. Participants who use standing desks have reported less stress and fatigue than those who remained seated the entire workday. Additionally, 87% of those using standing desks reported increased vigor and energy throughout the day. Through broader research on sitting and mental health, it has been discovered that a sedentary work life increases the risk of depression and anxiety. 

Lowers Blood Sugar

Another health benefit of utilizing a standing desk is that it helps lower blood sugar. According to a small study of 10 office workers who stand for 180 minutes after lunch reduced the blood sugar spike by 43% compared to sitting for the same amount of time. Both groups had taken the same number of steps, indicating that the smaller spike was due to standing rather than additional physical movements around the office.

Boosts Productivity

While standing at your desk may be strange and take some time to get used to, it has been proven that standing desks help boost productivity. Although many are concerned that it may hinder daily tasks, standing desks appear to have no significant impact on typical work tasks. In fact, standing stimulates circulation, which sends more oxygen and nutrients to your brain. On the other hand, sitting inhibits circulation and starts negatively impacting your blood flow in as few as 10 minutes. The physical movement also encourages new brain cells, specifically in the regions of the brain associated with critical thinking.

All in all, a standing desk is a good idea because it can improve physical, metabolic, and mental health. Which is why sitting less and standing more is such a significant lifestyle change in your work life. If you are interested in trying out a standing desk, you can purchase one online or even check out stores that sell office furniture. Make wellness a way of life!