Without a doubt, the most common problems I have come across during lockdown are associated with working from home for both adults and students. The second issue has been around suddenly doing gardening or DIY after the winter.
I have worked with individuals who have had to move their offices, battling with the rest of the family who are also working from home, trying to find a space to sit and also do Zoom calls. Then there are the students who have had to find a new way to learn by sitting cooped up in their rooms all day, or at the kitchen table fighting for internet space and screens.
One of the most common issue we deal with on a day to day practice in chiropractic is forward head posture and upper back and neck pain. This has come to light with the advent of the smart phone and any devices that we now use so often during our waking hours.
So, when we have now been forced to work from home, and many will continue to do so after easing of the lockdown, we need to find ways to simply make the office or school transition safely to our homes.
If you are working with a laptop the simplest way is to re-create it into a PC. We work with a super company locally called Healthy home office. They carry lots of supportive stock to help people working more ergonomically wherever they are. The key is to get a stand for the lap top, swing it up, and enable it to be in line with your eyes, so you don’t have to lean forward or slouch to see the text.
We then recommend you to add a key board and mouse so you can type at a better posture than on a higher positioned lap top.
Secondly, we need to look at the height of your desk/kitchen table and your chair. One of the simplest and cheapest way to re-create a good postural chair is to sit on a wedge cushion that tilts your pelvis slightly forward and enables you to keep your lumbar curvature as it was designed. We work with a wedge cushion at Luck’s Yard which was designed by a chiropractor and £1 of each sale goes towards chiropractic research.
There is also great mobile stool you can get called Hoki stools from Healthy home office, which come in different heights or come height adjustable. We use both at the clinic for different purposes, and they enable your spine to be more upright as you also move continually through the day.
Is it good to sit all day?
Sitting is the new smoking, they say, and for students who are used to walking in between class rooms and having more PE, this is as important as ever. We therefore recommend for students to get up in between each class and do one of our stretch films from our Luck’s Yard app and or go for a walk in the garden. For adults who are not working from home we recommend that you get an old-fashioned egg timer and set it on 40 minutes each time you sit down. Then get up like the students and move around and stretch.
One of the problems with back pain is sitting. And if you get back pain and still have to work, this is not easy to manage. Standing desks situations or working at the counter or a high ironing board, to be creative can help enormously during this time.
Luck’s Yard Stretch App
We are so delighted with the response from our free app with exercises for the whole body. During the last few years we have had thousands of patients downloading and using the app on a daily basis and finding it to be a good substitute for pain killer and anti-inflammatory medication.
If you have any questions about your posture during lockdown don’t hesitate to contact us. We are still here and happy to offer tele-health consultations where we can talk about your individual situation and help you find good solutions for you.
Tone Tellefsen Hughes and the Luck’s Yard Team