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Tips to relieve back pain caused by working from home

3 Comments
By AMY ELLIS

Working from home has become the new normal for so many people in Tokyo, and we’re all aware of the pros and cons (unlimited snack breaks fall into both categories). For the last few years, many of us have found ourselves reluctantly leading a more sedentary lifestyle, and without the walk to the station or the quick errands around the office, many people are starting to feel the effects physically.

Considering that very few people have a home office, or perhaps even own a desk chair, it’s safe to say that people were vastly underprepared for working from home. Most Tokyo apartments and local cafes with free wifi don’t have adequate space to accommodate an ergonomic work setup. When choosing furniture, the main concerns are usually cost or appearance — to fit in with our home furnishings. Often these types of chairs don’t meet the regulations that some company office furniture has to adhere to. Therefore, physical well-being, particularly back health, became an afterthought for working-from-home newbies.

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Image: iStock: Aleksei Morozov

We’ve seen the posters and the emails from our company recommending we sit at a 90-degree angle in a chiropractor-approved chair, near a window, sipping water at a comfortable 22 degrees. However, it doesn’t stop us from slumping into the sofa, covered in crumbs, while we balance the laptop on our knees. 

Tips for avoiding back pain:

  • Walk around your room every 30 minutes. Standing up and getting some movement helps to get the blood flowing back into your muscles. 
  • Posture is everything! Sit up straight with your shoulders back to take the strain off your lower back.
  • Don’t look down at your screen. Make sure your computer is at a comfortable viewing height for you to look at with a straight neck.
  • Invest in back support. There are many affordable lower-back support tools online, but in a pinch, a rolled-up towel placed between the chair and your back curve will offer some support.

Click here to read more.

© Savvy Tokyo

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

3 Comments
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My company refuses work from home, but me and my other coworkers have the same problems at the office.

Posture is everything! Sit up straight with your shoulders back to take the strain off your lower back.

The Chairs at the office are too low.

Even you lift up the chair to the highest position, the chairs are still too low.

And my Boss refuses to buy new chairs.

Don’t look down at your screen. Make sure your computer is at a comfortable viewing height for you to look at with a straight neck.

The Desks at my office are too low.

If you lift your chair up to the highest level, the desk is more too low.

And of course my Boss refuses to buy new desks.

*Walk around your room every 30 minutes**. Standing up and getting some movement helps to get the blood flowing back into your muscles. *

That is what I am doing at the office. Luckily my office is on the 3rd floor and I can go down the stairs to the first floor and walk around a little bit.

But as soon as I am five minutes absent from my desk, my Boss is looking for me.

Even when I am on toilet, this idiot is sending me messages or calling me on my phone.

He seems very lost in business without me.

Back Problems are a real problem in japanese companies because of the low chairs and desks.

The furniture at many offices in Japan are not healthy for your back, especially if you are an office worker for the next 30 years, and you have to sit in front of a PC every day.

But japanese people never complain about that, even their back hurts a lot.

One of my coworkers had a horrible disc prolapse in his back.

But even so he came to work! (Totally crazy)

But I gave him some painkillers from my home country and he was so thankful for that.

He said the painkillers he got in Japan are to weak.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

your boss sounds like a real jerk my friend.

Yeah. We can't work from either, but man I wish we could

I have a home gym. If I could work from home, I would do 5-10 minute workouts throughout the day.

For those that can work from home, buy a home gym and take breaks by doing short workouts every day. Pay special attention to back exercises and you'll feel great.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The transition to working from home has certainly presented an array of challenges, and maintaining spine health is right at the top. Having seen the direct effects of poor posture and prolonged sitting in various settings, the importance of an ergonomic workspace cannot be overstated. It's crucial to understand that our spine's health is intrinsically linked to our overall well-being, impacting our mobility, energy levels, and even mental state.

While it's tempting to settle into that cozy sofa with our laptops, we must be proactive in setting up an environment that encourages good posture. I appreciate the highlighted tips, especially the emphasis on regular movement and ensuring the computer screen is at eye level. These minor adjustments can make a profound difference in reducing strain on the spine and surrounding musculature. Investing in back support, even if it's as simple as a rolled-up towel, can be a game-changer in providing lumbar support and maintaining the natural curve of the back.

In a world where ergonomics might not always align with our living situation, being mindful of our posture and incorporating movement into our routines is essential. Remember, it's not just about preventing discomfort; it's about optimizing our health for the long run.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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