Long before the pandemic hit the world, people were Working From Home (WFH). But today, as there has been a substantial increase in the number of people WFH, there has also been an increase in complaints about back pain, neck pain, leg pain etc. An office is designed with computer workstations and ergonomic furniture to ensure the employees get a comfortable workspace environment. But, most of the residential settings don’t have enough space to accommodate ergonomic office furniture. As a result, 9 out of 10 people work from home on their dining table, kitchen countertop, bed, lounge chair or directly sofa!
Since this kind of working is likely to become the new normal for millions of people, it is high time you should learn to follow these work-from-home rules to ensure this work culture does not take a toll over your spine, neck, and overall health.
If you are already suffering from back pain or spine problems, make an immediate call to PowerSpine Clinic for an effective back pain treatment in Mumbai.

Rule#1: Keep your neck straight
With every passing hour in front of the computer screen, our body tends to become stiff and tired. Jumping to the bed with your laptop gets more tempting. However, make sure you keep your neck straight and at comfortable viewing height. The height of laptop should be such that one should be able to see the entire screen without craning your neck. I preferably suggest a 30-30-30 rule. In this, lift up laptop or turn back the screen 30 degrees, about 30 degrees neck flexion and eyes looking downwards 30 degrees. Position your computer screen so that you don’t have to twist your neck for viewing purposes.

Rule #2: Place your computer near the window
Natural light is crucial for your eye health. Sitting in a dark room with bright laptop screen will cause reduction in ambient light and dilate the pupil and give strain due to bright mobile or laptop screenlight. This leads to strain in the eyes and thereby will cause headache or increase the refractory error (spectacle number).
So, as far as possible, work in daytime, sit near window, let natural light in the room and minimise the screen brightness. It minimizes the chances of visual eye strain. The computer screen should be perpendicular to the window unless your window has shades or drapes to block the harmful UV-rays (sit so that window is to your right or left hand side)

Rule#3: Take Frequent Breaks
In the office environment, we often get involved in discussions with our colleagues or take frequent tea breaks. But, at home, you are on your own. Set the alarm every 20 minutes, which will remind you to take an eye break for 20 seconds. We call it a 20-20-20 rule, in which, the person takes 20 seconds break after every 20 minutes and focus on an object placed 20 feet away. Every hour or so, consider walking around the house for at least 5 minutes to relax your muscles and stretch your limbs. This will help reboot your entire body and prevent back and neck pain due to muscle spasms.

Rule#4: Sit back in your chair
If you are working on a table and chair, don’t sit upright or hunch forward in a turtle-pose. Leaning forward, bends the lumbar spine and creates too much pressure on your belly. The position deteriorates your spine health and can cause back pain. While sitting on the chair, use rule of 90. All joints should be at 90 degree to each other. So keep feet flat on the ground, knees at 90 to make thighs parallel to ground. Back should be at 90-110 at hips and elbow resting at 90 degrees on an arm support. Neck should be straight and in slight flexion. Once you consciously try to achieve this, it will become a habit and wont be too difficult to follow.

Rule#5: Avoid sitting on your bed or sofa
You may be sitting on the bed with your legs crossed or put horizontally to carry your laptop on an operational height. However, your back and spine curves offer support to your legs extended. Although not advisable, try adding some pillows for your back support and buy a small table to put your laptop and work on a considerable height to balance your body weight.
Other than that, avoid sitting for an extended period to prevent your chances of causing heart disease, obesity, and spinal condition.

  • Minimum 8000 – 10000 steps daily. At least 20 minutes of brisk walking or exercise
  • Sunlight for Vitamin D3. Your balcony or window usually lets in some sunlight.
  • Consider multivitamin and calcium supplements if diet is inadequate.
  • Learn to say no. Don’t try to work more than 8-10 hours daily or at odd hours, just because your boss says so.
  • Don’t let them exploit you, being in fear of losing your job.
  • This is the best opportunity to be with the family. Enjoy it! Tell your kids that you are not on a holiday but are working from home. They are very perceptive and will understand and stay away from you while you are working.
  • Companies! Don’t try to exploit your workforce. Don’t let Work From Home, turn into Working For Hell!
If done perfectly, you can get excellent personnel with good physical and mental health at low cost by saving on office rent, support staff, electricity etc. No geographical limitations to get the best person for the job! Work from Home can be the next big thing!!!
To learn more about spinal health or spinal treatment, you can book your appointment with our spine surgeon in Mumbai for advanced diagnosis, effective treatment, and speedy recovery.