Increasing numbers of workers could be risking their back health by not working in posture-friendly environments at home, according to new research from the British Chiropractic Association (BCA).
The number of people working from home, either full or part time, rose to over 4.2 million in 2015, with home workers now making up 13.7% of the population .
• If possible, designate a specific area in your home for working and always work at a table, sitting on a chair, rather than on the sofa or in bed.
• The top of your screen should be level with your eyebrows and if you are working from a laptop, make sure you are not hunching over the screen. If you don’t want to invest in a computer stand place books under your laptop so that you can adjust the level of the screen to fit your eye line.
• Use a detachable keyboard and mouse whenever possible, as this will ensure that your movement is not restricted and you are not placing unnecessary strain on your back.
• Taking regular breaks is extremely important and the BCA recommends workers move around every 20-30 minutes. Set an alarm to ensure you stick to this.
• When making phone calls, take the opportunity to get up from your desk and move around as you talk.
• Embrace the privacy of working from home by doing regular stretches. The BCA has developed a series of simple exercises to improve posture and help prevent back pain. More information here.
If you are experiencing pain for more than a few days, then you should seek professional help, as an undiagnosed problem could lead to longer-term problems if left untreated.
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1 Taken from the TUC’s analysis of unpublished data from the ONS Labour Force Survey