Working In Tech Doesn’t Have to Limit Your Back Health.  - Active Health and Restoration
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Working In Tech Doesn’t Have to Limit Your Back Health. 

Computer Back Pain

Currently, in the U.S. there are roughly 12.2 million people who work in the tech industry in well over 585,000 companies. Since the beginning of COVID-19, in early 2020, many corporate jobs and businesses have shifted to a remote or hybrid work environment. Working from home became the new normal. From 2019 to 2021, the number of employees working from home, including part time, tripled from 5.7% to 17.9%, which is around 27.6 million people. Studies have shown that 47% of businesses noticed increased productivity levels among employees who work remotely. 78% of CEOs agreed to continue remote work once they realized that employee productivity increased and workspace costs decreased. Due to the wonderful years of COVID, remote and hybrid work is here to stay. Whether you “believe in COVID” or not, the COVID-19 pandemic affected many lives and work environments. Of course, there are some pros and cons. Some love the flexibility that remote work grants them, while others suffer mentally and physically from being out-of-office. Some would choose flexibility at the cost of losing social interaction or even at the risk of gaining physical conditions due to the at-home work environment. Now, you’re probably wondering, “Why is she mentioning COVID related stats? I thought this was an article on back health?”. Well, ask yourself, at what cost would you allow yourself to be put in such environments or at what cost would you allow your work environment to affect your back health? What if I told you, working in tech does NOT have to limit your back health? 

That’s right. Working from home does not have to limit your back health. I know it can be difficult to agree or believe that, but it is just too easy to allow our work to affect our physical well being. Now, I am not here and did not choose this career to be the posture police. Having “good” posture is important to an extent but it is not the answer to everything. Trust me, I am sure my posture is not the best as I am writing this. But, don’t get me wrong. I do keep myself accountable when it comes to it. Yet, I have become aware of the moments where I get too comfortable when I am focused on a project or work related tasks. So, I am guilty of it as well. I can imagine how easy it is for people who are involved with remote and hybrid work to fall into comfortable habits that can potentially put your body’s health at risk. I get it. No, my career does not allow me to sit around on the couch or in bed during work, but I had my moments where I fell for the easier route during my years in chiropractic college. During those years, there was a moment where I realized I have to make better choices for my own back health. I am sure you can find a lot of great information online on back health, whether that is through searching on the web or opening up any social media app. However, if you are still interested.. 

Here are three main points on how working in tech does NOT limit your back health:

1. Work Environment: How to get away from becoming a couch potato:

  • It is not that we are against laying around and binge watching our favorite Netflix show when we are not working. Trust me. We all have days when all I would like to do is lay around and watch a TV series. It is easier said than done when it comes to remote or hybrid work. We naturally fall for what is most comfortable or convenient. However, the work space and environment you create for yourself plays a huge role when it comes to your back health. Take some time to evaluate your current work space and environment situation. Granted, your current  work environment most likely made or has been a huge change since the start of remote and hybrid work in tech. 
  • Because of this change, we are finding that many people who are working remote or hybrid have been finding their work environment challenging. There are many patients working in tech who have admitted they have moments when they work from the comfort of their bed or couch, at the kitchen table, or have taken their work with them while running some errands. Now, that all sounds like great perks of working from home until it starts affecting your back. 
  • The most encouraging way to get away from the at home perks that can potentially lead to back aches and pains is by setting a workspace at home that is away from your bed, couch, kitchen, etc. The main solution is to have a proper space with a desk and chair. I know it seems silly and pretty straight forward, but you would be surprised to know how many people do not have a proper workspace for themselves. This workspace can include a standing work desk, a comfortable yet supportive chair, adequate lighting, etc. to mitigate your back health. What does creating a proper workspace look like for you? 

2. Breaks: How taking breaks throughout your work day mitigates the limitations of your back health  

  • Now that you have created a proper work space that will allow you to work without the desire to work from your bed, couch, kitchen, etc., it is important to give yourself time away from your desk. People are not meant to sit for hours at a desk and stare at a screen. The human body is designed to be active and simply move. Yes, accomplishing required work related tasks is important, but your health is just as equally and if not more important. There are many people who cannot step away from the work they are doing until the task is done. You’re simply doing your job. There is nothing wrong with that, but we tend to forget about ourselves and our health when we are so drawn into the daily work tasks. Breathe. It will be okay. It is okay to step away from your work for a few minutes. Give yourself 5-10 minutes after every one to two hours. This can be taking bathroom/washroom breaks, taking your dog on a short walk, grabbing some water, etc. Anything you can think of that will allow you to get up and move after a couple hours of work. Even though you are at home, the proper workspace you have created will allow you to step away from work for a few minutes. 

3. Daily activity: Let's do better! 

  • Although you are now adding breaks to step away from your work space, that time acquired to your breaks does not count as your daily activity. We all have busy lives. However, we can all set a time for ourselves. We can all set 30-60 minutes of a daily activity in our schedule. This can be going on a walk or run at the park, riding your bicycle, playing your favorite sport, going to your local gym, etc. Which activity do you enjoy the most that you can include in your daily routine? 

Take these points from clinical experience. These main points are for you to decide to commit to three simple daily choices that will not cost your back health. Working in tech does NOT have to limit your back health. You, yourself, are putting those limitations on your back health through the choices you make each day. Ask yourself, what can I improve on throughout my work days for my back health? If you are committed to improving your back health and would like to learn more, check out the “The 9 Quick Ways to End Low Back Pain Now.” 

Jennifer Amaro

Jennifer Amaro

Dr. Amaro helps people continue to do what they love, and supports their health goals through a tailored treatment plan. Her goal is to not only provide immediate relief, but provide guidance towards optimal health. She is certified in Acupuncture and the McKenzie Method to incorporate in her treatment approach. Dr. Amaro earned her Doctor of Chiropractic degree from National University of Health Sciences in 2020. She is currently a resident at West Chicago, IL. In her spare time, Dr. Amaro enjoys spending time with family/friends, at the gym, or playing soccer. She looks forward to serving the community and expanding support to the Latino community.
Jennifer Amaro

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