In these chaotic, fearful and uncertain times, it is imperative for every individual to look after his/her mental and physical health and the health of thier loved ones.
As hospital visits are to be limited to the ones exhibiting symptoms of coronavirus and others needing urgent medical or surgical intervention, it comes down to us to find ways to stay fit, positive and pain free within the safe confines of our homes.
It is important to dedicate at least half an hour to cardiovascular excercise at least 5 times a week. The need is increased furthermore because of long periods of forced inactivity at home, says Dr Swagatesh Bastia, Orthopaedist and Co-founder of Alleviate Pain and Spine Clinic, Bengaluru.
People working for long hours infront of a screen are prone to neck and back issues, Bastia suggests some useful considerations -
Making sure you maintain adequate distance from the screen
To use a chair with low back support. As our chairs at home might not be ideal for work once can try to maintain an erect posture with the help of pillows or cushions
Adjust the height of the computer to just below your eye line
Using a headset instead of a phone for long calls to lessen the tension on the neck
Use a footrest / stool to rest both your feet completely
Maintaining an orientation of the screen as to avoid glare into your eyes
Make sure the wrist is straight and relaxed while typing or using the mouse.
Use a sufficiently sized desk
Interrupt long periods of continuous sitting with some stretches and short walks (even if it is at home)
Elderly people with chronic degenerative changes in the knee (arthritis), back and other joints should do basic strengthening and mobility exercises 2-3 times a day, he says.
This should help keep the pain in check but in cases of flare ups where the pain is quite troublesome, people would be advised to avail the online consultation facility offered by some hospitals to get the appropriate anti-inflammatory medications or analgesics, he adds.
"Overall, a well balanced diet, regular physical excercise, basic ergonomics and a positive mental attitude should constitute the armoury to tackle this time and come out with hope, happiness and health," he adds.
(Puja Gupta can be contacted at puja.g@ians)