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Ways to Support Your Posture
Because so many people are transferring their regular work and routine to working from home, we are often less mindful of our posture and consequently develop poor postural habits. When we are not thinking about our posture, it often results in poor posture. This is characterized by a rounded upper back, a flat lower back, and a forward head position. Here are some suggestions for maintaining good posture while working from home:
1. Using a workstation that is ergonomic
Regardless of how good your posture is, a poorly set up workstation at home might be the source of the majority of your postural pain. Follow these guidelines to ensure that your workstation is ergonomically sound:
Place the computer screen directly in front of you at a 10-15 degree angle below eye level, with elbows resting on armrests, knees bent at 90 degrees, and thighs parallel and feet firmly rested on the ground when sitting in front of the computer. This will assist in preventing neck and lower back problems; lumbar support may also be beneficial.
2. Exercise for postural relief
This exercise aids in the maintenance of correct posture, especially for people who work from home:
To begin, sit or stand up straight. Bring your arms back behind your body, fully straightening your elbows, wrists and fingers. By pressing your chest forward, gently arch your mid-back. Hold the position for 30 seconds. It's best to do this for every half-hour of prolonged sitting.
3. Neck stretches to help relieve tension
Look down and rotate your head to the right while sitting erect. Place your right hand on top of your head and gently pull down toward your right knee until the back of your left neck stretches. Repeat on the opposite side after 30 seconds. Three times a day is recommended.
Laterally bend your head to the right while sitting erect, so your right ear is close to your shoulder. Place your right hand across the left side of your head and gradually pull down until the left side of your neck stretches. Repeat on the opposite side after 30 seconds. Three times a day is recommended.
Pull your head and neck back, so your ears are in line with your shoulders while standing or sitting and bring your head forward (as if nodding "yes"). Repeat up to 10 times, holding for 5 seconds each time. Three times a day is recommended.
4. Move Frequently and Effortlessly!
When sitting or standing for lengthy periods of time, this is a good rule to follow. To avoid achy muscles and joints, it's necessary to vary your position and posture frequently, whether you're standing doing the dishes or sitting at the computer at work. Changing your sustained posture and position every 20-30 minutes is a good rule of thumb. This suggests that, even if we have the finest posture, it's more vital to move than to remain in that position indefinitely. Movement is vital to the health of our muscles and joints, and when you're sedentary, your body will send signals in the shape of aches and pains to get you moving again. Pay attention to these signals!
5. Stay hydrated!
Because water makes up 70% of your body, we use it for physical processes, including muscle contraction and joint movement (like running, walking and riding). When your body lacks water and isn't properly hydrated, it might cause muscle tightness, spasms, and poor performance. Make sure you're properly hydrated by consuming 1.5 to 3 litres of water per day.
We hope you find these pointers on how to stay pain-free while working from home useful! Please keep in mind that these are merely suggestions; if your discomfort worsens, cease any movements or exercises and contact your chiropractor.
Adjustments and Stretches to Relieve Pain Caused by Working from Home
There are a number of simple alterations you can make to your workstation at home to avoid or reduce the mechanical strains that poor posture causes on your body. Here are a few different positioning options to consider:
1. Avoid using your computer when sitting or lying on your couch or in bed
2. If feasible, sit at a desk or table
3. Sit on a comfortable chair that allows you to maintain proper posture as such:
The head should be directly over the shoulders and hips
Sufficient lumbar support (chair with support, small pillow or towel roll)
Arms that aren't too high or too low
Feet on the ground or on a footstool
Try not to tilt to one side when sitting
Knees should be the same height as the hips or slightly lower.
Parallel forearms and thighs to the floor
Elbows at a 90-degree angle
4. Take a step back from the screen, about an arm's length away.
5. Avoid reaching for the keyboard and mouse by keeping them close together.
6. Sitting for more than an hour at a time should be avoided, with a 10-minute break per hour of sitting.
7. For long phone calls, use a hands-free device to avoid straining your neck.
You may also want to add a few basic exercises to keep your body limber and strong, in addition to making changes to your workstation setting.
Speak to one of our chiropractors at Unity Spine and Health to find out more about maintaining a good posture while working from home.