Work from home: Why you should avoid sitting on the bed

work from home, back pain, sleep problem

Make sure you sit straight while working to avoid back pain. (Source: Getty Images)

Many of us who are now working from home amid the coronavirus lockdown, tend to sit on the bed with our laptop for hours, even if that makes us complain of neck and back pain. Not to mention how we sometimes also get distracted due to the urge to lie down from time to time, affecting productivity.

Research suggests working from the bed affects your health negatively. Most of us tend to stoop while working which can affect our spine. Dr Raghavendra KS, consultant, joint replacement and spine surgeon, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan & Mulund, told indianexpress.com, "We do not encourage sitting on the bed while working on your laptop or reading a book. There is no proper support when you are working from the bed. You tend to bend low while working, which is bad for the spine. Initially, one might develop muscle spasm, back pain or leg pain but sitting in the position constantly might end up giving you slipped disc problem."

Slipped disc is a condition in which the soft inner portion of a spinal disc pushes through a crack in the outer casing, which can lead to pain and numbness in the body.

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Sleep difficulties

Working from the bed tends to blur the boundary between work and sleep. And because of how the brain associates a location with a particular behaviour, sitting on the bed while working can also impact your sleep quality, psychologist Charlotte Armitage suggested in an interview with metro.co.uk, as it now becomes difficult to switch between work and sleep. Ideally, one should designate a specific place in the house for working, preferably a desk. The bed, on the other hand, should be reserved for sleeping.

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Besides, sleep difficulties are very common in patients with neck and shoulder pain. The muscles do not get a chance to relax and lead to contracture, causing difficulty in sleeping, informed Dr Raghavendra.

Things to keep in mind if you are working from your bed

In case it is absolutely necessary to sit on the bed while working, make sure you sit straight, advised the doctor. He said, "Take proper back support. The laptop should be kept elevated such that it is parallel to your head so that you do not bend your neck. Ideally, the head, neck and spine should be a straight line. Try to keep your legs straight or bend the knees only slightly. But do not sit in the same posture for too long. Keep altering your posture; get up from time to time, walk for five minutes and stretch your body before resuming work. Light workout for 30 minutes in the morning and evening is also recommended."