While South Africa appears to be coming out of hard lockdown at the end of April, it doesn’t seem like much is going to change for most people who are working from home. Since we are in it for the long-haul, here are some ways to help that back pain that’s been creeping up on you.
1. Invest in a better chair
Since it seems that our home offices might become a bit more permanent, it would be a good idea to ditch the kitchen table chair for a better ergonomic choice.
While it appears that under Phase 4 it will still not be possible to buy office equipment from online stores, finding a chair that sits at a comfortable height to your desk, even if you sit on pillows and has a decent back support will go along way in helping avoid back posture while sitting all day.
A good option is to also prop up your laptop or monitor on a few books so the screen is at your natural eye-line rather than having to look down and straining your neck.
2. Drink water
This might seem a bit strange for a tip regarding your back but muscles need water to keep strong. Being well hydrated will help them support you through those hours at your desk and any additional workouts.
3. Set a standing/stretch reminder
If you don’t use a standing desk, set a reminder on your phone for a 1 minute stand/stretch break every hour, so your back muscles can get a bit of movement and relieve some of the tension that’s been building. This will make sure you aren’t static for too long, and will even help your brain take a little break before diving right back into work.
At the end of the work day, work through a quick stretch session, targeting the lower back to fully relieve the tightness that has built up over the day.
Apps we recommend: Nike+ train, Deliciously Ella, Down Dog
4. Do a core focused workout
One of the easiest workouts to do from home are those that focus on the muscles. You need a mat, a quiet space and either a workout app or search of a Youtube video to guide you through. Just 30 minutes of these kinds of workouts even once a week at the very least can help strengthen your core and back muscles, making it less likely they will suffer strain.
Apps we recommend: Nike+ train, Virgin Active app videos, 8fit
5. Cold/Heat therapy
If you have serious back pain, use a cold compress immediately following the injury. This will help numb the area and reduce swelling. Two days later, apply heat pads or a hot-water bottle to the effected area to help soothe the muscles.