MADISON Ala. – Working from home has its perks, you can sit on the couch in your sweats, do a zoom meeting from your bed, that might seem comfortable, but is it good?
Joe Kachelman, Director of Physical Therapy at the TOC Center says since the beginning of the pandemic they’ve seen an uptick in patients coming in worried about their back and legs.
“So we’ve really seen an uptick in cervical and lumbar pain, neck and low back pain. With patients coming in saying that they’ve been either sitting on their couch or in their bed to do their work,” Kachelman said. Those may seem like comfortable spots but Kachelman says it’s doing more harm than good.
Bad posture puts stress on other parts of your body and if you have your computer on your lap, you may think those couple seconds of leaning towards your screen is nothing, but it adds up!
“The weight of your head, think about a bowling ball, sitting on top of your shoulders and a lot of those muscles connect to the shoulders as well and so you start to get that forward head and rounding of the shoulders and the thoracic spine.”
Many of us, even right now reading this article are staring at a phone or not being aware of how we have our bodies positioned. Awareness of your body is key and the key to comfort is fixing the problem before it progresses into something more serious.
“It can lead to degenerated discs, bulging discs and nerve issue that may need to be addressed surgically,” it sounds scary but, “Prevention is really the key, trying to be aware of how you are sitting and trying to maintain a good posture and when you can, try to get out of that posture as best you can.”
Getting out of that posture means getting up every 60 to 90 minutes and having your body do something different. Bad posture isn’t just and “ugly habit,” it can affect your shoulders, spine, hips and quads.
But, there are things you can do at home or in the office if you’re back to work that can help prevent a more serious outcome.
Click here for some stretches you can do at home or in the office. Kachelman says if you’ve been experiencing pain and discomfort for three to five days, it’s time to go see a doctor.