Avoiding Strain While Working from Home

We all thought what could be better than working from the comfort of our homes. But now that we all are doing that, we can’t wait to get back to our office chair and table. Though there are a number of reasons to it, but mainly because we don’t have a designated workstation at home and the present demand has ruined our posture. earlier we thought, it is a convenience from our living rooms, but Sitting in the wrong postures (that we all do), while working on the laptop can cause muscle spasm, pain in the back, neck and shoulders, that I now realize after more than three months of lockdown. All of this causes physical unrest, which we all are dealing with right now.

We are working round the clock, which is making it tiring, both physically and mentally.

The following are some tips on how you can reduce physical strain on your body and take care of yourself.

1) Sort out your setup

Screen level

Ensure your screen is directly in front of you, with the middle of your screen at eye level.

Choose the right chair

Make sure your chair has back support. To lift yourself, you can use some cushions at the bottom and also at the back to sit upright. Sitting upright is the best way to support your back. Be sure to sit back in a good chair that is upright and not reclined.

Place the laptop correctly

Your laptop should be placed at a surface, which is parallel to your head. This will support your neck and not cause back and neck strain.

Proper Elbows and Wrist Positions

Have your keyboard level, right in front of you, with your elbows by your side and at 90 degrees, ideally with wrists supported too.

Proper Feet Placement

Make sure your feet are also flat on the floor in front of you.

2) Aim for a “neutral” upright posture.

Try to avoid leaning forwards. Maybe even get someone to check your posture from the side. If you hunch over, or are leaning forward, or craning your neck back to see your screen, then you have a high chance of developing spinal pain.

You can reset to good posture :

• Aim to have your ear in line with your shoulder, and that this is in line over your hip.

• Try to make sure your head is over your torso not sticking forwards, and that your head isn’t tilted up or down.

• Ideally have a slightly inwards arch in your lower back – but only a small one, as over doing it can hurt too.

• If you’re experiencing back pain, a small pillow being placed behind your lower back may help, or lying on your back, on the floor, once or twice a day may help move your spine into a better position.

3) Follow Simple Exercises

– Neck stretches

Put your chin down to your chest and look up to the ceiling.

Slowly turn your head to the left, and then turn your head to the right.

Put your left ear to your left shoulder, then your right ear to your right shoulder.

– Arm stretches

Interlink your fingers in front of you and stretch forwards.

Interlink your fingers behind your back and stretch backwards.

– Neck rolls

Let the head dip downwards and slowly moving the neck in a circular motion. Do not rush the movement for best effect. Repeat movements on each side.

Shoulder shrugs and rotations

Try a shoulder rotation while being seated. You can also do shrugs, by trying to bring your shoulders as high as you can towards the ears.

– Over arm stretch

Stand straight, feet apart and raise your hands above your head. Interlock the fingers and place them outwards. Hold and bring the arms down.

– Legs Stretch

Stand straight on the ground with your feet together. Now bend your left leg backwards and hold your feet with your left leg. Hold it for a while. Now return to the original position and repeat with another leg.

– Back Twist

Stand straight on the ground and let loose your hands. Now twist backwards from one side and hold the position. Now twist to the other side and hold the position for a while.

– Forward hang

Stand straight on the ground with your feet shoulder apart and knees slightly bent. Intertwine your fingers behind your back and start bending forward. As your bend forward your arms will go upwards. Bend enough to face your knees .

– Ankle Pumps

Move your ankle up and down or in circle in sitting position.

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About The Author

Hemie Gupta, Hemie Gupta is a graduate of the New York University with a medical background in dentistry from the United States. She moved to India 15 years ago for personal reasons and since then has had extensive experience in management of various business ventures in this country. Over the last two years after the birth of her daughter, she has developed a keen interest in working on child health issues. She became intricately involved with and led the renovation and revitalization of the Child Development Center at the Sunderlal Jain Hospital in Delhi, India along with the Rotary Club and Dr. Mehrotra. She is currently working in the capacity of Managing Director to develop the My Whole Child Center for Special Needs in Delhi as a patient centered medical home for children with special needs.

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