Updated: Aug 4
Although working from home does have its benefits, sitting for long hours at desks without moving, or in inappropriate chairs can lead to discomfort and pain.
Here are a few tips to help prevent pain when working from home.
1. Keep active
Long periods of inactivity can lead to tension in the muscles and joints which can over a prolonged period lead to pain and injury. Even just a daily walk or run can be beneficial to reduce stiffness in your body as well as improve circulation and increase your metabolism. Pilates is an ideal form of exercise to get you moving after sitting all day at a desk. Why not try our free taster class if you have never tried Pilates before (join a Free pilates taster class here)
2. Take regular breaks
Regular changes in position will help to break up poor movement patterns which we can develop when sitting for long periods. Even if its just to make a cup of tea, to get a glass of water or step outside for some fresh air. This will help prevent a build up of tension in the neck, shoulders, back and hips.
3. Improve your workplace set up
Ensure your chair is in close to your desk and your keyboard is close enough that you aren't overreaching. Having your screen at eyelevel and not off to one side will help reduce strain of your neck. Check your chair supports your lumbar spine and pop in a small cushion or rolled up towel for support. Ideally your feet should be on the floor and your knees not higher than your hips - slightly lower is better to achieve the best upright sitting posture.
4. Check your posture
If you are feeling tension in the neck, shoulders, hips and back you will want to have a look at your posture and see could it be improved. If you start to develop tension in the muscles over time this tension can cause shortening of the muscles which eventually leads to pain in the muscles and joints. See our free video - link above on how to set your shoulder posture. Sometimes maintaining a good posture for prolonged periods can be a challenge and this is because the muscles simply don't have the strength endurance to hold you there. We would recommmend some Pilates exercises that will help to improve the stability and endurance of the neck and back muscles and open up the shoulders to help maintain good posture over longer periods.
5. Improve your mobility and flexibility
Maintaining good flexibility and mobility in your body will prevent tension and tightness which eventually leads to pain. Areas prone to tightness from prolonged sitting are the upper and lower spine, neck, shoulders and hips. Pilates is an ideal form of exercise the help mobilise your body and improve you flexibility. It will improve your posture and help to prevent pain and injury. We would recommend you encorporate Pilates into your regular routine. A regular class or 2 can help give you the accountability to take time away from your busy schedule to prioritize your own health and well being for an hour or 2 a week.
6. Keep hydrated
Drinking several glasses of water throughout the day is important to prevent dehydration - it will also get you moving when you get up from your desk to refill your glass.
BONUS TIP Strengthen your glute muscles - these muscles will be doing very little if you are sitting all day - try this popular Pilates movement below to wake up your glute muscles and mobilise your hips
Free Exercise videos coming soon...