Working from home has become the new normal for many of us post pandemic. While it has its benefits, such as avoiding a long commute and having more flexibility in our schedules, it also comes with its own set of challenges. One of the most common challenges is back pain from sitting at a computer all day.
In this article, we will explore some simple yoga exercises that can help you avoid back pain while working from home.
1. Cat-Cow Pose
This position is a great method to loosen up your back and warm up your spine. Get on your hands and knees at the bottom position, placing your forearms under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Create a concave curve in your vertebrae by arching your back and lifting your head and tailbone upward as you inhale.
Next create a convex curve in your vertebrae as you exhale by bending it and tucking your chin in. For several breaths, repeat this motion while synchronizing your breathing with your spinal action.
2. Downward Facing Dog
A traditional yoga position that can lengthen your spine and ease back tension is the downward-facing dog. Bend down on your palms and knees and put your arms under your shoulders and then bend your legs under your hips to start. Now lift your pelvis upward and straighten your arms and legs as you exhale. This will cause your body to form an inverted V. Engage your core muscles to support your spine while firmly planting your hands and feet into the ground.
3. Child’s Pose
Child’s Pose is a gentle, grounding pose that can help you to release tension in the back, hips, and thighs. It is often used as a way to calm your mind and reduce stress, as the position of the body can promote relaxation and feelings of safety and security. The pose is named after the way a child might rest in a similar position.
In this pose, the practitioner sits back on their heels with their knees hip-width apart and their big toes touching. The torso is then lowered forward, with the forehead resting on the ground and the arms extended in front of the body or alongside the body.
4. Seated Spinal Twist
Yoga poses like the seated spinal twist is excellent for strengthening the abdominal muscles and increasing spinal flexibility and movement.
Starting from a seated position, extend your legs upright in front of you. Your right leg should be bent and pointed upwards as you position your right foot on the outside of your left thigh. Put your right hand behind your back on the floor and your left palm on your right knee. Expand your back as you inhale.
With your left palm on your right knee, twist to the right as you exhale. Maintain a long, relaxed spine and calm shoulders. Repeat on the opposite side after releasing the position and holding it for several breaths.
5. Standing Forward Fold
Standing Forward Fold is a yoga pose that stretches the hamstrings, calves, and hips while calming the mind and relieving stress. Start by taking a tall, hip-distance stance with your arms by your sides and your back straight.
As you exhale, bend forward at the hips, keeping your legs straight but not locked. Keep your spine long and avoid rounding your back. Place your hands on the ground on either side of your feet, or if you can’t reach the floor, you can bend your knees slightly or rest your hands on blocks. Allow your head and neck to relax and hang down towards the floor.
You can also gently sway from side to side to release any tension in your spine. Hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds while taking steady, deep breaths.
Tips to Avoid Back Pain While Working from Home at the Computer All Day
As more people work from home, it’s important to pay attention to ergonomics and prevent back pain caused by prolonged computer use. Here are some tips to help you avoid back pain while working from home at your computer all day:
Invest in a Good Chair
A comfortable and adjustable chair is key to maintaining proper posture while working at a computer. Look for a chair with good lumbar support and adjustable height, tilt, and armrests. Buy chairs with comfortable seats and adjustable heights.
Adjust Your Monitor
Position your monitor at eye level to avoid straining your neck and shoulders. You may need to adjust the height of your chair or use a monitor stand to achieve the right height. Also, minimize the brightness of the screen to reduce strain on your eye. Prefer using UV radiation goggles to prevent yourself from the harmful ultraviolet radiations emanating from the screen of your computer.
Take Frequent Breaks
Stand up and stretch every 30 minutes or so to prevent your muscles from getting stiff. You can also try doing some light exercise or yoga during your breaks.
Use a Headset
If you spend a lot of time on the phone, consider using a headset to avoid straining your neck and shoulders.
Maintain Good Posture
You should lay your feet straight on the floor to keep your shoulders relaxed and back straight while working at your computer. Avoid slouching or hunching over your keyboard.
Incorporate some stretching exercises into your daily routine to help loosen up tight muscles and improve flexibility. You can find a variety of stretches online or consult with a physical therapist. We have summarized the best yoga poses to relieve stress and strengthen your muscles, making them a habit to practice daily.
By following these tips, you can help prevent back pain and muscle sprains, and other discomforts associated with prolonged computer use while working from home. Remember, a healthy workspace is a happy and productive workspace!