Posture tips that will help while working at home
Covid-19 has caused all our lives to change in many ways. One of those ways is by self-quarantining ourselves into our homes and no longer being able to go to work, stores, or chiropractor appointments. We have talked to many patients about how this quarantine is affecting their lives, and many say it is difficult transitioning to working at home. Most people have very different workspaces at home compared to at home. Patients have also complained about back pain, neck pain, and poor posture. So, are these two topics related?
Yes! Posture is a major issue when constantly working at a desk. Many of us are used to working at a desk all day but now even people who walk around at work and are active throughout the day are having to work from a desk all day long. At Balanced Spine, we want to help those who are suffering from back pain or discomfort caused by poor posture at home desks during Covid-19 and afterwards!
We are here to help you get through this difficult time by sharing tips that will help you maintain your posture while working at home. The first one is to make sure you have a comfortable, supportive chair at your desk. Having a good chair can help have beneficial impacts on your health and productivity. It is crucial to have proper back support in the chair in order to help support the spine. Having a chair with a hard back that is straight does not help support the back. Making sure your chair is comfortable is the first step to determining if it supports your spine. Is your chair soft yet firm? Does it have a curve in it? Does it have a head rest? These are all important questions when picking out a good chair for your desk! If your chair does not have a supportive back, you can get a backrest to help support to lower and upper back. A proper chair should also have arm rests. This helps support the arms while typing so it does not cause further strain on the body. Proper arm rests can help prevent conditions such as carpal tunnel or repetitive strain injury. Back problems are one of the major problems people face who work at a desk, whether it is from home or at work. This can affect your mood, health and productivity. The spine can’t solely support your body weight so having a chair that can help support that weight is important.
Another important factor when sitting at your desk is making sure you have proper chair height in relation to the desk. You want your feet flat on the floor and you want your knees in line with your ankles at a 90-degree angle. You also want to make sure the keyboard is enough close to your body and directly in front of you. You don’t want to be reaching far while you are typing because this can cause further strain to the body. The monitor should also be directly in front of you and only a few inches above eye level. However, you also want to make sure you are arm’s length away from the screen, so you do not strain your eyes. If your desk is too low and your legs can’t fit comfortably underneath it, then you can put it on risers or switch to a desk that is at a proper height. If your desk is too high and you are raising your arms to type, it is important to find a way to lower your workspace. A keyboard tray is a great way to do this or to adjust your chair to a higher position and then put a footrest by your feet so they can stay flat. People also use portable laptop stands so they can stand up and type throughout the workday. This is a great way to help improve and maintain posture.
When sitting in your chair it is important to think about how you are sitting. Are you slouching? Are your hips near the edge of the seat? This can lead to bad posture, strain in the upper back, lower back, shoulders, and neck. You want to make sure you are sitting up straight with your hips far back in the chair. Make sure your shoulders are relaxed and are not rising towards your ears. Keeping an eye on this will help relieve tension and pain!
It is also important you take a break! We recommend at least taking 15 to 20-minute breaks every hour to two hours. During this time, you should walk around and get some fresh air! Keeping your body moving is very important! We also recommend doing some stretches or exercises if you have time! We like to do the cat and back stretch to help our spines stay moving and to help us relax! The more often you get up and move the better since it gets the blood flowing and helps energize the body! Taking breaks also helps avoid eyestrain which many of us get when looking at computer screens and cell phones all day long!
If anyone has any specific questions about working on posture when working from home or need some more tips, please feel free to contact us at Balance Spine Chiropractic! We hope you are all staying healthy during this time and are looking forward to seeing everyone soon!