We’re all finding that staying at home creates a range of challenges in our lives — one of which is that we’re sitting more than usual, and being sedentary can cause many problems for our necks and backs. But you can avoid them!

We’ve put together these simple guidelines to help you avoid neck and back issues while staying at home. Follow these guidelines every day to maintain your back strength, flexibility, and mobility.

SIT CORRECTLY WHILE WORKING FROM HOME
It is crucial to sit properly at the computer. DO NOT sit on the couch when doing computer tasks. Also, make sure to take a break every 30-45 minutes. Stand up, stretch a little, walk around the house. You can use this easy-to-set up online alarm clock to freeze the screen, to force yourself to take a break.

STAY ACTIVE EVERY DAY
Do these exercises every day to stretch, strengthen, and improve your cardiovascular endurance. These are the safest exercises for most people to do daily. A few are shown with options for different positions. Choose the one that works the best for you.

Stretches

Child’s pose: Keep pelvis down, relax head and neck between arms (15 seconds+)
Side child’s pose: relax head and neck between arms (15 seconds on each side, x6)
On your side, exhale as you lift the top arm and rotate your torso to reach back. Follow the hand with your eyes to rotate neck and torso together (x3 each side)
Cat/Cow, focus on moving the lower back, not the upper back (move your neck gently in the positions shown) x6
Cat/Cow in sitting position. Same motion as cat/cow, but on a chair. Good to do when sitting at a computer (x10)
Figure four, or “pigeon on back.”
Keep chin in (2 x 15 seconds)
Figure four, or “pigeon on stomach.” Keep chin in (2 x 15 seconds)
Figure four, or “pigeon while sitting.” Keep chin in (2 x 15 seconds)

Strengthening Exercises

Low plank, do not let your lower back sink, keep chin in (hold for 5 breaths x 5, or do once for 30 seconds)
High plank, do not let your back arch up or sink down (hold for 5 breaths x 5, or do once for 30 seconds)

Plank Challenge: Every day, try to add 10 seconds to your plank.
This could be a fun family challenge game!

Bird dog. Do not lift leg higher than hip. Keep pelvis level and chin in (hold for 5 breaths x 3)
Half rollback. Use a towel roll behind your lower back, keep shoulders down and away from ears, chin in. Use your abs/core to hold your position for 15-30 seconds

Cardiovascular exercise
Walking is one of the most beneficial low-impact exercises for spine health. We recommend walking for at least 30 mins once or twice a day! Walking can help the mobility of the spine and  improve the blood flow to your back structures, especially the disk structure.

Be mindful of your sleep position, too
Make sure your sleeping position and mattress support your back. Check out our blog post on sleep positioning