Keep Your Back and Body Healthy While Working from Home


With more and more workplaces embracing hybrid or remote work, we asked our physical therapy team at the Clough Family Center for Rehabilitative and Sports Therapies for some tips to keep your back and body healthy.
Put these proper workspace ergonomics, body positioning and stretches to use — your body will thank you!

  • Follow the 90-degree rule with your workspace ergonomics. Work at a desk or table with a supportive chair, ideally with arm rests. Try not to work from the couch with your laptop all day. Put your feet flat on the ground, hips, knees and elbows at 90 degrees, with your back straight, shoulders back and chin tucked.
  • Straighten your posture when you are sitting at your desk. Your chin should be tucked and your shoulders should be back.
  • Encourage proper circulation by taking a break from your computer every hour for 5-10 minutes. Brisk walks incorporated into a work day can have a good effect on circulation.
  • Stretch your neck, shoulders and hip flexors with these exercises:
    • Upper Trap — Using one hand, gently pull your head down and to one side and hold for 30 seconds. The stretch is felt behind your neck and shoulder.
    • Pec — Stand in a doorway with your arms to the side (like a lowercase “t”) and gently lean forward and hold for 30 seconds. The stretch is felt in the front of the shoulders and chest.
    • Hip Flexor — Kneeling on one knee with the opposite leg in front of you, both knees bent to 90 degrees, tighten your abdominals and lean forward and hold for 30 seconds. The stretch is felt in the front pocket area.
  • Strengthen your hips, core and neck by doing these exercises:
    • Squat — Using a chair for consistent depth, keep your spine straight and drive your hips back. Work in sets of eight repetitions.
    • Front and Side Planks — Work up to 60-second holds on each side, and use knee planks if needed.
    • Neck Planks — Lay on your back, tuck your chin, and lift your head. Work up to three 10-second holds.
    • For more at-home exercising tips, read “How to Keep Fit While Staying Home”.
If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, physical therapy may be appropriate for you. Please contact your primary care physician for a referral.