Work from home – Is it good or bad for your spine?


Work related back pain is a common reason for sick leave all over the world. With a number of people working long hours in sitting posture on desks and in front of computers, there is a rise in prevalence of significant back or neck pain, even among the youngsters in the prime of their health.

I come across many professionals who have opted to work from home due to the back pain, thinking that resting at home and avoiding travelling to the office, while continuing to work, can relieve their pain.

But as we all know that bad posture related strain is the most common reason for spinal pain, it all depends on the posture weather at office or at home!

In fact working from home, one may actually find themselves in a much worse position that working sitting in the office chair, if you think about it!.

Most of them working form home work on a laptop, sitting on a sofa or in the bed or sitting on the floor. While it may be okay to be in those position for few minutes at a time, long hours in such postures can overstrain the spinal muscles and lead to back or neck pain.

Young woman with laptop on bed, enjoying time at homefocused_172099272-Man-lying-on-bed-and

Lying prone and working on the laptop is another common position. The spinal muscles, discs and joints are over exerted to maintain the head and neck in extension for a long duration and can result in neck or upper back pain.

So, if you are working form home, especially to avoid posture related pain, you may not get better if you are not mindful of your posture at home!.

Here are some tips to avoid overstraining of your spinal muscles while working from home.

Make a sitting arrangement on an ergonomic chair and a comfortable desk or table.


If you want to work on the bed, sit upright leaning your back up against the wall or the headboard of the bed. Use pillows to support your lower back and under the knees. Avoid sliding down or sidewards. (which eventually happens if you don’t correct yourself frequently).  Take a break and walk around every half an hour and stretch your muscles. Avoid slouching or hunching your back. The head and shoulders should be in line with the back.

Keeping a pillow or another form of support under the laptop is essential to bring it up to the eye level. Make sure your arms are not lifted away from your body and wrists are well supported.

It is better to avoid lying prone and working on the bed


Use additional supporting tables or stands to hold the weight of the laptop that trying to hold it in place yourself.

Exercise regularly to keep your spinal muscles strong.

Have a great “Work from home” time! .

If you liked the article, please share it and subscribe to my future articles on spine health. Thank you.!

About the author

Dr Phani Kiran Surapuraju is a practicing Spine Surgeon in Chennai, India. Trained in one of the top three Medical colleges (Maulana Azad Medical College) in the country. National Board of Examination certified Spine Surgeon. 12 years of Post-MS experience in Orthopaedic Surgery, with 9 years of exclusive experience in Spine Surgery. Special interest in spinal deformity correction and Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery. Fellowships in Spine surgery, including management of complex spinal disorders. (FNB, Univ Of Hong Kong and Univ of Bonn, Germany. )

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