It’s everyone’s dream to work from home, and it’s becoming more and more feasible in an era of virtual offices and telecommuting. However, most home office workers don’t adopt the most supportive of environments. They work on couches, in recliners, with laptops on their knees and with hunched over shoulders. It might seem comfortable now, but they’ll be paying for it in bad backs and weak core muscles in a few years.
Start by adopting good ergonomics and considering a good office chair from a reputable manufacturer such as Brentwood. Ergonomics is about more than furniture; it’s also about the angle of your body and minimizing chronic pain and tweaks. The good news is that it’s never too late to change your bad home office habits. Here are a few signs that your home office is wreaking havoc on your physical health:
1. You can’t sit up straight
Try sitting in a chair next to a mirror and practice sitting with a straight spine, feet flat on the floor, for five minutes. Just five minutes. “Good posture” is something almost nobody has naturally according to the experts and it takes constant work to improve it. Ultimately, it leads to better health, less pain, and less risk of injury as you age.
2. You have chronic pain
Whether it’s in your neck, back, wrists or anywhere else, unless you’re a weekend warrior or hardcore athlete, chronic pain is likely caused from your work environment or poor sleep habits. While there are treatments for chronic pain, the best tactic is to avoid it in the first place. Work with a doctor to establish that you don’t need medical intervention and to design a regimen to correct it and prevent it from happening again. Sometimes just switching chairs or lighting can make all the difference.
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3. You’re always tired
Fatigue can be caused by many things, but poor posture is surprisingly one of them. You shouldn’t have an afternoon slump every single day. It’s not normal to be exhausted every night. This type of tiredness needs medical attention, but may also be remedied with a better home office environment.
4. You use the same space for work and play
Do you spend eight hours per day creating spreadsheets on the couch, then just snap your laptop shut to turn it into TV watching time? Be honest with yourself and consider how long you’re in the same, non-ergo-friendly seat. It might be doing more harm than good.