There’s a lot of benefits that come with working from home. In many cases you get to choose your own hours, you don’t have to sit in traffic each day, and you don’t need to think about what outfit you’re going to wear that day. However, with these advantages come some drawbacks.
One such drawback that you may experience as the result of working from home is poor posture. Poor posture can lead to some long-term heath complications, and yet most of us don’t even realize when we have poor posture. According to a chiropractor in Atlanta “Many people who suffer from back pain choose to ignore their symptoms and avoid meeting with a doctor until the pain becomes unbearable or prevents them from following through with their usual routine. If left untreated, the pain you carry with you can develop into chronic ailments that are difficult to treat, and even harder to live with.”
If you want to improve your posture, and avoid these health problems, here’s what you need to do.
Set Up Your Work Area Correctly
When you work from home, it’s tempting to work anywhere that’s comfortable. Maybe you need to do some writing, so you lay down on the couch with your computer in your lap. Or maybe you just set up at the kitchen table and spread out everything that you need. If you’re going to work from home, it’s important that you work at a dedicated spot. Doing so will not only help your focus, but it will help with your posture.
By setting up a dedicated area, you can arrange your desk, chair, computer, and supplies in a way that is beneficial to your posture. For instance, you want your computer monitor at a comfortable height and distance so that you are not craning your neck to see it all day. For more information on how to set up your desk to improve your posture, you can try this guide.
Focus on How You’re Sitting
Even if you set up your desk correctly though, you may still find yourself slouching or sitting in positions that are not good for your posture. Maybe you like to lean on one of your elbows, or you lean forward to see your computer screen, or you like to sit on one of your legs. Sometimes we do these things without realizing it, and it isn’t until much later when our arms, back, neck or legs stiffen up.
There’s a proper way to sit in your desk chair. You want your hips towards the back of the chair with your feet flat on the ground. The chair should also be high enough so that your knees are lower, or at least as high as, your hips. Finally, if you can, recline the angle of your chair to about 110 degrees, and make sure all sections of your back are fully supported.
As the day goes on, you may find yourself slipping out of this position. It’s not natural yet, so you’ll need to remind yourself to shift back. Try leaving a note on your desk to focus on your posture. The more you work on it, the quicker it will become second nature.
Don’t Sit for Too Long
Now matter how good your posture is while sitting, you don’t want to do it for too long. Not only is this bad for your back, but it’s bad for your heart. It’s recommended that you get up to stretch for at least 15 minutes out of every hour. Do some yoga, complete some chores, or take the dog for a walk. We know that sometimes you might get so busy that you don’t realize how long you’ve been sitting there, so set yourself some reminders. Even a quick stretch and a bathroom break is better than nothing.
Do Some Exercises
Finally, if you always want to have good posture, not just while you’re sitting, you need to do some exercises. Specifically, you’ll want to focus on your core muscles. These will make it easier to sit and stand up straight. Do some crunches each night, or some stomach stabilizers. A little bit each day will go a long way and improve your posture dramatically. Here are some other posture-improving exercises to get you started.
Make Good Posture a Priority
With so much going on in our lives, adding something else to the list sounds difficult. But considering all the problems that can come from poor posture, you really should try to make an effort. Use the suggestions above, set yourself some reminders, and give it a try for a few weeks. You may start to notice an improved quality of life sooner than you expect.