While everyone is making adjustments and sacrifices to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ability to work from home is definitely a blessing, our fitness experts understand the negative effects of prolonged sitting and increased stress on our bodies.

It doesn’t help that we’re currently unable to visit our favorite fitness centers in South Jersey to move and sweat the pressures of the day away!

If you’ve been experiencing an unusual amount of back, neck, shoulder, and wrist pain since you shifted from your regular office into a home workspace, we hope we can help alleviate some of your symptoms. First, take a look at this quick slideshow video that illustrates a few ways working from home can contribute to back pain.

What can you do to lessen the painful effects of working from home? We know that the coronavirus crisis won’t last forever, and we will eventually all return to business as usual, but in the meantime, here are a few helpful tips to avoid pain.

Assess Your Workspace

We don’t expect you to go out and buy a brand new ergonomic office chair, but if you’ve been slouching on your bed, cross-legged on the couch, or hunched over the counter on a kitchen stool throughout the workday, it’s time to set up a better work station where you can sit comfortably but not strain your back and neck. Dust off your desk or clear off a table.

Practice Proper Posture

Experts recommend sitting in a “neutral” position with feet flat on the floor. Contrary to what you might think, proper posture isn’t sitting completely upright at a 90-degree angle, but rather sitting slightly reclined back, by 15 to 20 degrees, to avoid tightness in your hips — another contributor to back pain. Your chair should support your lower back. If it doesn’t, roll up a towel or blanket to bridge the gap.

Elevate Your Screen

You might have already heard warnings about too much looking down, in relation to your phone or mobile devices. The same goes for your computer. Laptops can make it difficult for workers to keep their screens at eye level, so if you must work solely on a laptop, set it on thick books or wooden blocks to elevate it to a more comfortable height for your neck.

Take Frequent Breaks

We know that you’re busy and stressed and have a million things on your mind. But it’s important to make time throughout the workday to get up, move around, maybe even do some stretching. Five minutes is all it takes to give the body some much-needed relief from sitting, typing, or staring at a computer. You can set a timer on your phone to remind you every hour or 90 minutes that it’s time for a breather.

Definitely try to take a 30-minute walk during your lunch break to get fresh air and clear your head.

Finally, don’t forget that we’re offering a wide variety of amazing workout programs online — for FREE — and anyone can take part, whether or not they’re a Kennedy Fitness member. You can join a class live via our Facebook page, and if you miss the session, you can access all of our past classes on our YouTube channel.

We’re looking forward to welcoming you back into our fitness centers, but until then, we’re doing whatever we can to help you stay healthy and fit. Stay tuned to our website for further updates!