Work from home is hurting your spine health! Here is what you should do – Times of India

Picture this. You sleep late at night after watching TV and browsing through social media to your heartโ€™s content. You wake up late, right before you have to start your office work. So you fix a quick breakfast, grab your laptop and sit wherever you feel comfortable. More often than not, it is your bed, or your comfortable recliner. If you can relate to this, we are sure you have experienced some level of discomfort in your back during the lockdown. And even if you have been able to manage your routine during lockdown, there are several concerns related to back issues that people are reporting quite often. To resolve the overwhelming number of queries related to back health, we spoke to Dr Satnam Singh Chhabra, Director, Neurosurgery, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi. Here is a lowdown of our chat…

With regard to back health, what’s the biggest mistake people are committing while working from home?

While working from home, poor ergonomics and comfort zone are the prime reasons for spinal and back related ailments in the long run. The major sub-factors include sedentary lifestyle and poor sitting postures. Staying physically inactive is the most common reason for back aches during work from home. Sitting or lying down without any physical exercise or movement may cause spinal complications in the long run. Furthermore, working on laptops while lying down and incorrect ergonomics are the prime reasons for developing spinal problems among people working from home. It adds a huge amount of pressure to the back muscles and spinal discs. Last but not least, slouched positions can over stretch spinal ligaments and strain the spinal discs causing severe pain and can lead to severe complications if left untreated. However, by maintaining an active lifestyle and following safe practices while sitting and bending, most of the spinal problems can be prevented.

Many are complaining about stiff back. What should everyone do to take care of their body?

While having an active lifestyle for so many years which has been diminished for over two months does have an impact on your overall health and especially spinal cord. Either working in poor postures, or lying down to relax, with much reduced movements, the back is bound to be stiff. Keeping yourself active is the best way to avoid stiff back complaints and for an overall healthy spine in the longer run. Stretching exercises can also prevent stiff back.

People are doing more household chores than what they are used to. What can they do to ensure their back and spine is safe?

Many of us have probably been forced to perform chores at home that we are generally unaccustomed to. The following measures will ensure a healthy spine โ€“

1. Avoid jerks and extremes of bending and twisting

2. Share the work and take breaks intermittently.

3. Keep Walking and Exercise Daily – concentrate more on stretches and less on weights.

4. Maintain a nutritious diet rich in proteins as well as salads and fruits and avoid weight gain.

5. Expose yourself to sunlight to get your daily dose of Vitamin D.

Many are trying video workouts. Any word of caution from your side?

Before working out, it is important to know the capability of your body. Mild activities like walking, aerobic exercises can be done by all. People with pre-existing back conditions need to be precautious. Proper warm up is very important before doing any cardio workouts, lifting heavy weight should be avoided.


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