More and more people are working from home now, and that isn’t likely to change in the near future. Sleeping in a bit later, saving on gas, and working in your pajamas are all perks, but the work from home life may cause you to sink into poor posture habits. Poor posture can quickly become a serious problem, aggravating back and neck pain or damaging spinal structures. Let’s explore a few easy to implement fixes to keep you feeling good throughout the day.
1. Take a Walk
You should never be in more than one sitting position for over an hour. Standing up out of your chair and taking a walk around the house or getting a breather outside every 30 to 45 minutes is imperative to keeping your back and spine healthy. This tip is even more realistic when you’re working from home and aren’t stuck on the 20th floor of a 20 story building.
2. Stretch and Stay Hydrated
If you’re getting up frequently to get water, (or consequently use the bathroom) you’re completing tip number 1 without thinking about it. Stretching while you’re taking your break resets your posture and prevents your muscles from tightening up.
3. Keep Your Body Aligned When Seated
An office chair is designed to support your whole body, but many people don’t understand how to properly adjust their body for proper posture. You should be sitting up straight with your shoulders, ears, and hips aligned vertically. Avoid unbalanced seating positions that can cause long-term pain and discomfort like unevenly crossed legs, leaning, pushing your shoulders forward, or craning your head or neck. If you’re still feeling discomfort, visit a chiropractor clinic to correct posture problems and help emphasize better posture going forward.
4. Keep Your Monitor Just Below Eye Level
If your computer monitor or laptop screen isn’t at the proper level to your sightline, this can cause you to strain to read or tilt your head up or down to get a better vantage point. You should use your eyes to look down at a device or to adjust to your screen instead of continuously moving your head around and wasting movements.
5. Break Out the Headset
If you’re working from home and taking a lot of calls, you’re likely wedging a phone between your shoulder and ear while typing away on the keyboard, especially if you tend to have lengthy calls. A headset, earbuds, or even speakerphone decreases the risk of neck pain from awkwardly tilting your head to hold your phone.
6. Avoid Working from a Couch or Bed
As comfortable as you might be working from the couch, hunching over a coffee table is a recipe for disaster. Try working from a desk or if necessary the kitchen table to prevent back pain.