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If you’ve been working from home for the past few months, you’ve likely made some investments in your new “office,” be it a standing desk, printer, or even a DIY booth. For me, the tiny dining table in my living room has become an important multitasker: from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. it serves as a desk, conference table and lunch cafeteria. and at 6:01 p.m. it returns to a dining table in time for dinner. Needless to say, it wasn’t long before my body let me know that it wasn’t happy being hunched over in a worn dining room chair for hours.
It started in my back with a pain that I couldn’t quite get rid of. Then the pain radiated to my knees, probably because my chair was doing some less friendly things to my hips. It got to a point where daily stretching and foam rolling no longer cut it. Investing in more comfortable dining room chairs seemed like an expensive way to alleviate my seating problems, so I started looking for alternatives on Amazon. The answer? A U-shaped pillow under $ 35 with 11,000+ glowing reviews.
The ergonomic pillow from 5 Stars United promises to “offer [the] You will need additional support to maintain good posture and the natural curvature of your spine while you work. It’s made from durable memory foam and has a removable, washable cover with a non-slip base (so it stays in place on the slipperiest velvet or leather armchair). The best part is that because of its small footprint, I can toss it in the closet when I’m not working. This allows me to separate my time “working from home” and simply “being at home”.
In fact, there was only one problem: every time I got up from my chair to get a glass of water or move around my apartment, my cat would sneak into the chair and fall asleep within five seconds. Not wanting to remove a sleeping pet from their nap, I decided the solution was to just buy another one that I could get out when my first one was claimed by Olive.
As much as the pillow has helped me relieve the pain caused by a worn chair seat, its effectiveness is limited. “A pillow should only be bought if you find that the seat of your chair is too hard and you have soreness / pain in your buttocks or sacrum,” says Dr. Matt Devoe, a chiropractic doctor in New York City apartment therapy.
It turned out I wasn’t alone when I noticed strange pain that I hadn’t experienced before. “I’ve definitely seen an increase in posture discomforts related to people working from home, especially from a laptop rather than using a desktop monitor,” noted Dr. Devoe.
However, he also cautions against solving your problems with a single purchase, stating that pillows like this “don’t solve the underlying problem that the body shouldn’t be stationary for long periods of time”. Whether you’re working from a computer chair, dining room chair, or bed, it’s important to take the time to move around if your body allows it. “When we stay in one position for hours, our tissues get tired and send pain signals to our brains to get us moving,” explains Dr. Devoe. “These products can delay static tissue fatigue by a few minutes, but if you don’t move you will be back to where you started without a pillow.”
If the pain persists, he recommends focusing on “workstation ergonomics”, e.g. B. to invest in a height-adjustable monitor or a laptop stand and a keyboard. As the New York Times noted, there are also adjustable computer stands and other tips to help people work from bed, which can be especially helpful for people with chronic illnesses or other disabilities. Dr. Most of all, Devoe suggests making an appointment with a physical therapist or chiropractor to address your problems and needs.
As for my pillow? It seems my cat might be on something. Now, when she nudges me to knock me off the chair and take a nap, I’ll use that as a cue to get up and move around for a few minutes. When I come back, Olive is fast asleep on her pillow and I’ve shaken most of the pain out of my legs for a second round of work.