PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — With so many of you changing routines to work from home because of the coronavirus pandemic, you may have developed some aches and pains you didn't have before.
But how and where you sit while you work could make a big difference in your comfort level.
"Ideal ergonomics at a desk are your elbows at 90 degrees. Your hips and your knees about 90 degrees, and that’s gonna be based on your chair height," said board certified sports medicine chiropractor Dr. David Rudnick.
At the Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Institute in west Boynton Beach, Dr. Rudnick said he's seeing patients come in with back and neck pain they've never had before because of their new work environment at home.
"We’ve seen anything from somebody sitting at their toddler’s desk at a playroom because that's all they have access to," said Dr. Rudnick. "I recently had somebody wondering why their hips were uncomfortable after working for several hours, and we found they were sitting cross legged on their bed with their laptop on their lap."
Dr. Rudnick said sitting at a desk is ideal.
"If you are working on a mouse, [arm] stretched out, not good. Going to put more stress on your neck, your shoulders, and your upper back," said Dr. Rudnick. "You want to have your elbow at a slight bend, and keeping your wrist neutral."
WEB EXTRA - PROPER SITTING POSITION:
Because you're likely sitting for long periods of time, Rudnick said make sure to take breaks every 30 to 40 minutes to stand up, walk, and stretch.
"Simple stretches. Head side-to-side, pulling. One of my favorites is a little rotation of the neck and pulling down towards your hip," said Dr. Rudnick. "Squats, lunges, very functional movements that we normally do during the day that we are not doing when we are sitting for a prolonged period of time."
WEB EXTRA - STRETCHING AT HOME:
Dr. Rudnick added that stretching three or four times during an eight-hour workday from home will lead to significant benefits.
"And at the end of the day, go for a half-hour or 45-minute walk to get the cobwebs out," Rudnick said.
You can also elevate your laptop with a few magazines or books so it's more at eye level, and put a pillow behind your back for comfort and support.
To learn more about Dr. Rudnick and the Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Institute, click here.