Sunday, December 4, 2022

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Health Experts: Mind Your Back When Working From Home

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Thursday, May 5, 2022   

When working from home, you might be tempted to work from the bed, couch or anyplace which may inadvertently lead to slouching or looking down at a screen, but experts say it's important to mind your back.

Working from home offers a lot of flexibility, but you shouldn't be too lenient when it comes to posture.

Dr. Andrew Lewis, Jr., owner of New Dimensions Chiropractic Center in Tallahassee, said research shows for every inch of forward-head posture, puts up to 12 pounds of pressure on your cervical spine.

"Then you multiply that for eight hours, over the course of three, four years, by the end of that there is going to be a lot of discomfort," Lewis explained.

Lewis pointed out he tells patients to always remember to keep their shoulders in alignment to their ears. Also avoid twisting, awkward positions and sitting on extreme surfaces, either too hard or too soft. In addition, he recommended taking breaks throughout your work day to stretch to give your body a chance to reset and relax.

Dr. Russell Amundson, national senior medical director for UnitedHealthcare, said while working from home, it's important to maintain a home-office setting to keep eyes level with a screen, and avoid looking down.

"There's been a shift to telecommuting," Amundson acknowledged. "Folks have surrendered, or have been removed, from more ergonomically designed workspaces with good office chairs, with good support and, of course, the appropriate height desk."

Among the tips Amundsen shares include staying active and eating a healthy diet. He advised people experiencing serious or long-term pains or back problems should talk to their doctors to explore care options, including physical therapy and nonsurgical options.

An estimated 50% of U.S. adults are affected by so-called musculoskeletal conditions, which includes bones, joints and ligaments and muscles.

Disclosure: United Healthcare contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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