How to improve your work from home posture
People all around the world are finding themselves unexpectedly working from home due to concerns about contracting or spreading Covid-19. Yet many of us do not have the correct set up for a home office. A poor workstation setup can heavily impact the strain placed on our backs, shoulders and necks, which can inevitably lead to a weakened posture that can be difficult to rectify.
Follow these important practices to maintain correct posture and prevent strain & injury.
1. Be conscious of your posture
Maintaining a neutral posture as often as possible, can greatly reduce your risk of injury and developing chronic pain. Neutral posture is the position of the body that places the least stress on the musculoskeletal system while still allowing for maximum control & strength. Here are some tips on how to improve your posture while at work;
- Position your computer monitor at eye level to avoid your head tilting.
- Pull your shoulders back & keep your back flat against the chair.
- Rest your feet flat on the ground—Avoid crossing ankles or legs.
- Use a lumbar support tool to help keep your upper back straight and prevent slouching.
2. Listen to your body
To prevent spinal problems, it’s important to bring awareness to your daily wellbeing. Monitor your ongoing symptoms such as stiffness, soreness & aching in your back, shoulders & neck. Make daily or regular notes as symptoms arise. This can help you identify any patterns in your habits & routines that may be contributing to your pain. With this information, you can start to adjust your posture at work and consciously prevent back pain.
3. Give Yourself Movement Breaks
Regular movement breaks every 30-40 minutes can greatly reduce the health risks associated with sitting. It’s important to make time for scheduled breaks and good posture exercises throughout the day. Stretching can help reset your posture & loosen any muscles that may be tense.
4. Place most used items within arm’s reach
Sitting too far away from your desk will cause fatigue inducing strains & stresses. Always position your chair at a comfortable distance from your desk & tools that will facilitate movement without overreaching or stretching your muscles.
5. Neutral Posture at work and beyond
It is undoubtedly important to practice good posture at work, but it is also significant to maintain good postural habits from the office to home to travel and elsewhere. Maintaining correct body alignment in all aspects of life is essential to avoid long-term, debilitating conditions.
Regardless of your workplace, you can make your workstation ergonomically correct. The diagrams below illustrate how to make a desk, kitchen counter, bed and couch more comfortable for working at home:
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