Feeling Stiff? Relieve Your Back Pain with These Easy, Affordable At-Home Solutions

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If you’re new to working from home in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, then you’re probably camped out at your kitchen counter, dining room table, living room sofa or, in the case of roommate-filled houses, your bed. It’s quite possible you don’t have the means or the space to invest in a full-on, ergonomic office setup — and that means your posture is probably suffering. All that physical strain from sitting or standing at an ad hoc desk setup can lead to an uncomfortable amount of soreness and, in the worst case, debilitating back pain.

So, what can you do to minimize your discomfort? Make sure your setup takes these notions into consideration:

  • 1) Make sure your keyboard and mouse are positioned appropriately. According to Time, "The nerves in the hand leave the neck and run down through the shoulder, elbow and wrist. When your arm is at your side, the nerves aren’t being compressed, but the more you stretch it out to the side, the greater chance you have of straining your neck or shoulder."
  • 2) Minimize the chances of visual eye strain by not turning your back on a bright, glare-causing window. Instead, work sideways to said window.
  • 3) View your computer straight on, at eye level. That is, make sure you don’t look down at your computer screen.
  • 4) Rest your feet flat on the floor for extra support. Don’t kick back — no matter how tempting.
  • 5) Sit back in your chair — don’t hunch forward.
  • 6) Standing desks aren’t a cure-all! According to Time, standing to do computer work "puts greater strain on the circulatory system and on the legs and feet."
  • 7) Avoid working on your bed, if possible. Often, you’ll have your legs horizontal with no support from your feet — and your laptop is propped on them, meaning you’re looking down.
  • 8) Every 20 or 30 minutes, stretch and walk around a bit.

Of course, even if you’re doing your best to mitigate back pain or create a comfortable at-home office environment, the aches and pains might still persist. If that’s the case, we’ve come up with some creative solutions to ensure you can avoid and ease debilitating back pain, no matter your means.