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Things to consider if you need to work from your bed

Norwest Chiro blog - Things to consider working from bed

Working from your bed… It sounds really tempting to do this from time to time, especially since it’s winter. I mean who wouldn’t like taking a conference call while being curled up in bed? It’s warm and cozy so it must be a good idea right?

Well if you ask us, we simply don’t recommend it. Believe it or not, there are a lot of negative effects that come with working from bed. This may interfere with your sleep cycle and potentially reduce your productivity the next day. Not to mention that it might ruin your posture in the long run, leaving you with troublesome aches and pains that a proper workplace setting could have prevented.

Sleep Issues and Low Productivity

First and foremost the bedroom should be a space that encourages sleep. The problem starts when your brain begins to equate your bed with work if you work from it frequently. Imagine all your files, documents, and gadgets located near your bed. This may distract you as you wind down for the night and you may have trouble getting your brain to transition from work mode to sleep mode. You won’t be able to relax when you are reminded of schedules and deadlines.

Additionally, it is a fact that staring at your phone or other electronic gadgets shortly before bed can keep you up at night because of the blue light they create. Therefore, you can have more difficulty falling asleep if you stay up late working from bed. All of these can have a detrimental effect on your sleep cycle.

Related Article: Are you getting Quality Sleep?

Working in bed promotes Poor Posture and Pain

Your bed can give you a good sleeping posture but NOT a sitting posture. When you sit on a soft surface without proper back support, it makes your body slouch, straining all your neck, back, hips, and other spine muscles. It will likely be very uncomfortable as you spend long hours in this unsupported position while holding and looking at your gadgets.

Younger adults may swear that this is not an issue for them and that they can work in bed without a problem. However, this is likely because most of the time, you will not immediately feel the tension and negative effects of poor posture. The pain will only become more and more prominent once the damage has been done (this may come in the form of minor headaches to chronic back pain, arthritis, and the list goes on).

What to do when you really MUST work from bed

Of course, we do acknowledge that there are certain instances where you’ll have no choice but to work in bed. Probably you’re still adjusting to remote work because of the pandemic or you don’t have any good workspace at home. Or maybe you have an injury and you’re stuck in bed but you need to work on something with your laptop or tablet. Well, desperate scenarios need smart solutions.

If you must continue working from bed, try your best attempt to mimic the sensation of sitting up straight as much as you can. This does not mean you should lean up against the headboard or wall because it’s going to overstretch the back side of your muscles, which include your hip flexors. Instead, you should strive for a “neutral posture” which means finding a position where you are comfortable and relaxed, but NOT slumped. This way you will avoid straining your neck, shoulders, back, and hips.

Some things that could help achieve this neutral posture are by putting pillows under your knees, rolling up a pillow or towel, and placing it under your neck or lower back whichever is comfortable for you. Another good tip is to position the laptop/ tablet at eye level or higher (if you are able). There are ergonomic adjustable desks that you can use on top of the bed, which helps adjust your eye level. If that’s not available though, you can do a makeshift desk by using any adjustable surface (like an ironing board for example).

Last but not the least, is to incorporate a variety of movements throughout your day. Working from bed does not mean you should be stuck in your bed for one whole day of work. If you want to avoid pain as much as possible then make sure to take short breaks when you can. Get up from the bed and stand up on the floor. Stretch your muscles as it helps release built-up tension and prevent any body stiffness from forming.

Related Article: How To Read In Bed Without Hurting Your Neck

Final Thoughts

Overall, we still do not recommend working from bed at all. If you have the opportunity to upgrade to a work desk setup then please do! But if you don’t have a choice right now, then following these tips should help lessen the negative effects that working from bed brings to the spine.

If you are one of those people who spend a significant portion of the day either sleeping and working from beds, it is crucial that you take this chance and assess your posture to ensure that you are not harming your spine. Our team are experts in helping people get pain relief and posture correction by doing spinal adjustments and making sure that the spine is correctly aligned. Schedule an appointment today through call or text 022-4031568.