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back pain when working from home

Work from Home Posture Tips

by Tara Hackney, PT, DPT, OCS, KTTP2 Comments

During this time, people may find themselves working from home. Many are transitioning to work from home from an office setting and your home is most likely not as equipped as your office. Please take these tips into consideration to decrease aches and pains in the coming weeks.

Create a “Desk” Area in Your Home

If you have a desk at home, use it! It is not recommended to work all day sitting on a couch or bed as these surfaces do not provide much postural support. If you do not have a desk, try sitting at a kitchen table. Sitting hunched over a coffee table will not make your back feel good. Attempt to use a chair that has postural support or use a small pillow or rolled towel to create better support for your low back. Sitting on a pillow or folded towel can also offer more cushion support if you do not have an office chair at home.

Many offices may also have standing desks. You can still create a space in your home where you can stand to work. Kitchen counters are usually not quite tall enough but you can use boxes or books to elevate your monitor and keyboard to allow you to stand and not be hunched over. Try changing throughout the day- start sitting and move to a standing position in the afternoon.

Elevate Your Laptop

Ideally, the top of your monitor should be just below eye level so you don’t have to strain to read it. If you are reading on your computer often, prop your laptop up using books or a shoe box. Then if you need to type you can lower it. The ideal position for typing is with the elbows at a 90 degree angle.

Use a Headset for Phone Calls

If you are on the phone often during your work day, using a headset or earbuds can decrease the risk of neck pain from trying to hold the phone.

Take Breaks

Often at work you take breaks- to get a drink, walk to the printer/copier, or have a conversation with a coworker. At home, you may not realize how long you have been sitting in one position. Setting a timer once per hour can remind you to take a break. Roll your shoulders back, walk around your space for a few minutes, stretch, and then resume your work.

Try using these tips to keep your work from home environment more ergonomic. These tips can help keep you feeling good when working in a new environment. Click here for tips on creating an ergonomics workstation.

If you’re experiencing any aches or pains, schedule a free assessment and be seen in-clinic or virtually through a secure online video chat.

Request a Free Assessment

Physical therapy is usually the thing you are told to do after medication, x-rays or surgery. The best way to fix your pain is to start where you normally finish – with physical therapy at Athletico. Schedule a free assessment in-clinic or virtually through a secure online video chat where our team can assess your pain and provide recommended treatment options.

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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About the Author:
Tara Hackney, a physical therapist in Marion, IA, enjoys working with all patient types, especially gymnasts, cheerleaders, and dancers. She is the prominent blogger for Athletico's Gymnastic/Cheer Program. With an orthopedic specialization and training in dry needling and Graston technique, Tara hopes to answer your questions about injuries and injury prevention in an easy-to-understand manner. She hopes to ease fears surrounding pain and injuries, address concerns about recovery, and provide tips to prevent injury. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her dog, reading, and watching her nephews play sports.

Read more health resources related to these topics:

ErgonomicsTelehealthhome officeposture tipswork from homeworking from home


  1. Maggie Mac Intyre

    I am an 80 year old rancher and I do alot of tractor work from May to harvesttime .. seeding , cutting hay baling and combining. I believe my IT Band issues were caused by baling.. usually 2-3000 big round bales a year meaning braking and holding each bale as it wraps. My chiropractor called it a “foot ball” injury ( he knows I farm) and perscribed exercises. I cannot pull my right knee any closer than a foot and a half from my chest whereas I can tuck my left leg right under my chin. And I cant allow my right knee to twist away from my body without exceutiating pain. I can point to EVERY PLaCE where this darn band is hooked on!!
    1) in my groing
    2) on the front of my hip
    3) on the top of my patulla on both sides
    4) unthe first quarter roung of the top of the tibia
    5) over a boney part on the outside of my knee
    I dont have the luxury of resting this leg for days until it heals. I am calving now and although I have help at times , calves come when THEY feel like it. The footing isnt good with snow and ice everywhere and nighttime cow xhecks can be treacherous. A mere slip dodging a cow or maneauvering a calving cow through the herd into the barns has turned into a mammoth task for me now. I tried accupuncture and it actually helped for a few days but I had to go back to Ibuprofen as I simply couldnt afford the 2 hour trip to the city , the cost of the Doc, or the time away from the ranch. He gave me exercises but they REALLY hurt and didnt seem to work although at first they seem to help a BIT, but then not at all. I CANT atay on pills! And this has been going on TWO YEARS!! I am now well into calving season again and a but desparate. I’m tall and lean build but very strong. I dont have an issue lifting a soaking wet 100 lb newborn calf and carrying it into the shelter but now onve I gather it up , my right leg simply WONT left us up to standing anymore. If you have any idea how I can fix this darn thing , I would appreciate it. Thanks, Maggie

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