Astonishing Facts About Home Working Backs

As a nation of desk potatoes we are spending more and more time slumped in front of our PCs, scouring the online world. If you work for a big company then you've probably had your health and safety work assessment to make sure you are sitting correctly, but what about the rest of us who work from home?

Chances are (especially all you home business entrepreneurs) you're spending a lot of your time at a traditional office desk in a bog-standard chair - and I bet some days you get up saying 'Owwww, my back!' 

As a long time home worker, who (yes, I admit it) has put on weight since I have been working from home, I decided to get the ergonomic low-down, before testing out a rather interesting alternative to the office chair - all so that you can be productive, bum-comfortable and back-happy!

 Chances (especially all you home entrepreneurs) are you're spending a lot of your time at a traditional office desk in a bog-standard chair - and I bet some days you get up saying 'Owwww, my back!'

Freelancers and home business owners need to know how to look after themselves - and this means that their office chair should be fit for purpose. Just 'cos a chair looks flash doesn't mean it's doing a good job - all the whizzy knobs and rocking around buttons are pure entertainment, but what about sore-bum-syndrome, let alone chairs that promote bad posture and aching backs!

I spoke to Paul Thomas, a national Communications Manager, who loves working from home says the topic of chairs is close to many a home working heart.

His own whizzy chair, nicknamed 'The Throne' by his colleagues, has buttons and pumps and requires, he believes, several years of training to set up correctly.

 

A good home office chair is close to many home working hearts.

Paul said: “I'm not sure it's perfect, but all other chairs leave me feeling pretty damaged. I also have had severe back problems, with two slipped discs in my neck over the last two years and bulging discs in my lower back, which I have to contend with day-to-day. It's changing my work pattern, which means more time working from home and thinking about what I'm able to do day to day and how I do it.”

Like Paul and many - if not millions - of home workers across the globe, having to sit on these issues day in and day out, can be a right pain - so I wanted to see what expert, physiotherapist Caroline Southgate, thought.

In general terms, human bodies were not made to be in a sitting position for hours at a time.

'The modern world of office work presents major challenges to the skeleton and its supporting soft tissues - circulation, nerves,, ligaments, muscles and importantly in the spine the intervertebral discs.

There should be no doubt that understanding good posture, being as physically fit as you can, taking mini breaks regularly and proper lunch breaks, walking up stairs and where possible even walking around your house or around the block all contribute to well being while work from home.'

 

Kate Gould shows how you can create a tranquil secret nook for a quiet moment away from your home office

Caroline Southgate MCSP is a chartered physiotherapist based Essex, Suffolk and London.

She specialises in musculoskeletal injury and especially hand conditions which can sometimes be exacerbated by poor posture at work. Caroline believes a chair cannot save you from yourself! 

 

If you feel the pain of this article and need help, Libratum goes in to companies, reviews their wellbeing and health and safety policies, and provides both in-house training and follow up online training with a view to identifying and reducing stress in the work place. If you run a business where all your team work from home around the country, they can step in and give your band of home workers the best back advice.

You really don't want your home workers to slump.

Working from home can help this because there is no one around to make coffee for you so you just gotta get up and do it. Now that you're thinking of coffee beans and smelling high street coffee shops, why not jump over and check out these top 5 work from home exercises.

A good quality, well fitted chair is essential for those online entrepreneurs and home business owners who spend hours at their desk with not many coffee breaks

After our successful mobile working bags road-test I decided to road-test a new chair. Okay, okay, I didn’t really send it squealing down the motorway, but I did give it a right good sitting on while I was working from home!

Enter the Evolution Chair

 

Evolution Home Working Chair

It was designed to encourage good posture, work your core muscles and relieve and prevent back and posture problems. I’m sitting on one as I write this article.

It’s a new type of pilates posture chair suitable for home workers, freelancers, students, office workers, IT professionals, healthcare professionals … just about anyone who sits for extended periods of time.

Altho’ if you take this chair into your regular office you may have the Mickey taken outta ya! The be-all of working from home is that no one can see you perched happily on your ball chair.

Office Home Chairs for your home business
The Evolution chair is meant to help home working business owners develop good posture and core strength - kinda like an insurance-policy against back injury. It is said to be a unique and comfortable alternative to an ordinary chair.

Unique: Yes, it makes the office look less cluttered without the traditional high-back chair and even a little bigger without a big chair crowding out space.

Comfortable: Not convinced yet. It gives me the same bum-ache after sitting on it for long periods of working from home, but then I should be taking more coffee breaks or even getting up and down just for healthy-ness sake.

Sitting on my Evolution Chair is taking pressure off my spine, releasing muscle tension, correcting my posture [I sorely need this after a shoulder operation that went wrong and a subsequent shoulder reconstruction with metal plates!], improving my balance, which right now feels akin to walking on a trampoline, and most importantly, strengthening my core muscles.

By the way, Evolution do say that the ball concept takes some getting used to so I will have to part with my new toy and warm up my old office chair every now and then until my body adjusts to a more permanent sitting mode.

All good so far!

This quirky chair is ideal for people with back and neck problems and even children - presumably to ‘teach’ them a good posture from early on.

By sitting on the ball and adjusting your body to the bounce, sway and tilt of the ball, you work your deep core muscles.

 

I wish someone would come up with the same kind of invention for losing weight while sitting in your chair when working from home!

These constant small adjustments build the endurance and strength of the postural muscles which help you develop the best posture.

And you can take the ball off the chair bit and keep fit with exercises to music at the end of your working day. I tried it but fell off! Enough on the ol; botty gave me enough padding so no sore bits, but I will try again to balance as I have lots of good reasons to get fit and healthy before hitting the big 5-0!!

Get your exercise ball in our shop for only £14 or this fancy balance ball chair for £99.

If you don’t have a Evolution Chair you should try getting some exercise in your home office, if you’re a lone start-up business entrepreneur - no one will see you!

Tips and Exercises

Use these tips and exercises looking after your back, neck and shoulders when you spend your day plonked in front of your home office desk.
 
1. Chairs- should be adjustable for height and back rest position.

2. Adjust the chair height and computer screen so that your hips are slightly higher than your knees.

3. Your forearms should be roughly horizontal when using your mouse and keyboard, eyes should be level with the top of the screen.

4. Adjust the back rest of the chair so you can lean against it comfortably with your lower back well supported and your feet flat on the floor or on a footrest.

5. Keep the mouse within easy reach so that your forearm is lightly supported on the desk,the movement of mouse should come from your shoulder not wrist.

6. Do some easy exercises every hour so so, like bicep curls with a small water bottle. Stretch and breathe – take a few minutes every hour to stretch your back, arms and shoulders.
7. Regularly sit up and take deep breaths to refresh all the air in your lungs throughout the day – it’s so simple but it can help make boost your energy and mood levels instantly.

8. Sit facing straight ahead, feet flat on the floor or a footrest with your legs UNCROSSED!

9. Keep your office well lit and set the temperature so that you don't waste energy being too hot or too cold. And drink plenty of water to boost your energy levels and keep you hydrated.

10. Be strict with yourself about taking regular micro-breaks from your desk or pc. Take your full lunch break and go for a walk or a lunch time exercise class. Even a quick trot around the block to post any letters will help clear your head and help you to maintain a good posture. After all, if you're working from home you just gotta take advantage of the benefits of flexi timings (says she lecturing her own self here).
 

Most Important

Seek advice and treatment for suspected health problems early.Bodywand to help home working backs

For those home business owners who have reached a milestone target and ready to celebrate with a bit of pampering, you may want to help us find the best back massage that eases stress and corrects your home working slump.

One little trick you could try ... the Bodywand is an adjustable speed electric massager, an evolution of the famous Hitachi wand. It’s electric so extremely powerful, has a flexible head so you can easily reach all body parts and has a smooth, ergonomic shape and easy to grip handle.

I’m outta here … gotta get me a quick massage and then off to find the best gadgets and massages to fix my aching home working back!

Who said working from home was all fun ...

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