It’s not surprising to hear people struggling with work from home arrangements especially those that do not have ample space such as those living in small apartments or studio-type units.
After all, no one has been prepared enough to anticipate such outcomes brought about by the recent coronavirus pandemic.
But humans are a resilient species and will always find ways to adapt to any situation and as they say, necessity is the mother of invention.
In the absence of home space, you may not be surprised to hear people taking their work to the bedroom and making their bed a functional workspace.
When done right, the bed can be as effective as an ergonomically suitable workspace. People resort to this not because it’s a convenient alternative, rather something that they do out of necessity.
While working from bed can result in several effects such as a twisted spine or the mental effects of setting boundaries between work and rest, it is equally important to consider the negative effects and finding ways to remedy the concerns.
Back problems such as a bent or twisted spine are a common issue when working in bed, so finding the means to support the back when working is vital to ensure that it does not cause problems.
Medical experts recommend supporting the back by using a wedge-shaped cushion that is wide at the base and allows the body to recline between 10 to 20 degrees. It is meant to support the lower and upper back to maintain a neutral posture.
If you cannot find a wedge, this can be substituted with a couple of firm pillows then add more support for the lower back. You can also use a lumbar roll if you can get one.
Mind your neck
The neck can be overly strained during prolonged periods of bending forward to view the monitor or laptop screen. This could result in neck pain, headaches, stiffness, and fatigue which could be felt from the neck down to the lower back.
As a solution, it is important to position the monitor or laptop screen at eye level thus reducing the likelihood of neck strain.
Another way to remedy this is to bend your knees at a 45-degree angle and securing the laptop on your knee so the neck bends minimally between 15 degrees and less.
When changing positions, you may sit with your legs straight and secure the laptop on your knees, then raise the laptop on pillows to prevent the neck from bending way forward. You can also use a tray table as an alternative.
Be mindful of the time when working and find ways to remind yourself to walk around every 30 minutes.
Doctors recommend doing this as prolonged seated positions in bed can affect your spine and the back, so ensure that you take a regular postural change.
You can do this by squeezing your shoulder, neck stretching exercises, squeezing together the shoulder blades, and foot and ankle exercises.
Every two hours make sure to stand up and move around by taking a 15 to 30-minute break, you can walk up and down the stairs or retrieve mail from the letterbox, just as long as you move around to exercise most of your body parts.
Establish an alternative workstation
As much as possible, do not spend your entire workday in bed, instead find an alternative area where you can do some of your tasks, such as when engaging in a video conference with colleagues or a virtual meeting, silent time, answering phone calls, or when reading through reports or data.
You can place your laptop on a raised table or shelf and work on your computer or laptop in a standing position so you are not limited to the monotony of sitting in bed and working the whole day which can be boring and result in burnout.