A man sipping on a cup of coffee while working from home

Tips for Better Posture While Working From Home

Working from home has become an increasingly popular practice. In fact, 4.7 million people had already been working remotely before the pandemic was declared, according to the US Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The work-from-home setup isn’t always easy. There are a lot of aspects to consider to yield productivity and job success. While home ergonomics and home office environments play a big role in terms of productivity, it is important to note that everything starts with posture. 

Good posture not only looks better, but it also increases energy, supports better breathing, improves circulation, and puts less wear and tear on your joints. It’s an investment in both your health and appearance. 

On the other hand, bad posture can lead to chronic pain and other complications later down the road. Since working from home requires hours on end of sitting in front of a computer, it is easy to fall into bad posture practices.

What is posture? 

Posture is the position in which we hold our bodies while standing, sitting, or lying down. Good posture is the correct alignment of body parts supported by the right amount of muscle tension against gravity. Without posture and the muscles that control it, we would simply fall to the ground.

Ordinarily, we do not consciously maintain normal posture. Instead, certain muscles do it for us, and we don’t even have to think about it. Several muscle groups, including the hamstrings and large back muscles, are critically important in maintaining good posture.

While the ligaments help to hold the skeleton together, these postural muscles, when functioning properly, prevent the forces of gravity from pushing us forward. Postural muscles also maintain our posture and balance during movement. 

Because we don’t consciously think about the way we sit or stand, our body is prone to bend in ways it shouldn’t cater to things that are either poorly designed or unfit for our body’s regular posture. 

For example, you might find yourself slouching in front of your laptop, and bending your neck forward. Your body is servicing your laptop’s setup when it should be the other way around.

Fortunately, there are ways around this. Here are some tips you can do to improve your posture from a chiropractor:

Here are some tips you can do to improve your posture:

Avoid slouching

Sitting or standing in place for long periods of time can be tiring, especially if you have to stay in that certain position for hours. Nonetheless, that only means we have to be more conscious. Check your posture every 20 minutes and straighten your back. Slouching puts strain on your neck and can often lead to neck and shoulder pain. 

Related: Maintaining Your Spine Health While Working from Home

Keep everything eye-level

We often make the mistake of looking with our necks when we can just as easily look with our eyes. This is important to note especially if you are using a laptop as there is not much mobility in terms of leveling your monitor to be at eye level. Look down at your screen with your eyes, do not move your entire neck- this leads to neck strain and will allow you to fall into the habit of slouching.

Stretch

Do this before, after, and even during your work time. Stretching loosens any tensions you may be feeling in your muscles and allows you the flexibility to practice good posture. Getting up to stretch every hour or at 30-minute intervals acts as a buffer, not only for your posture but also for your mindset, allowing you to be more productive.

Related: 5 Back Exercises that Relieve Pain

Keep your feet flat on the floor

Your knees should not be too high or low above level with your hips. Your feet should be flat on the floor. With that being said, crossing your legs or anything other than having your feet flat on the floor leads to strain and complications on your backs, hips, and even causes a slight increase in blood pressure.

Stay hydrated

Hydration can help your posture in different ways. For starters, hydration helps your muscles and tissues. Tensions in the back area can be significantly reduced simply through regular hydration. Hydration strengthens both the padding and discs in your spine. An added benefit of hydration is that you will be required to physically get up every time you need to take a drink or refill your water bottle.  Additionally, you will need to physically get up every time you need to take a drink or refill your water bottle, which is good; constantly switching your body’s position is necessary to maintain a healthy posture.

Prioritize ergonomics

Good posture starts with you, but there is no harm in taking assistance from external tools. Placing a pillow between your back and the back of your chair can make all the difference when it comes to simply sit straight. This acts as a cushion for your spine. The height of your appliances matters which includes your computer chair, your desk, and any other alternative external tools. The general rule of thumb to follow is that everything should be proportional. The best way to do so is to observe 90-degree angles at all your joints.

How can a chiropractor help posture?

One of the assessments a chiropractor will do is check for postural imbalances. Perhaps you have one shoulder higher than the other or a tilted pelvis. These imbalances can have a serious impact on the body’s central nervous system. Once joint restriction and dysfunction have been improved through the adjustment, a chiropractor can assist you with proper posture, including recommending exercises to strengthen your core posture muscles and choosing proper postures during the activities to reduce the risk of injury. 

If you need professional help with your posture, book an appointment with us at Intero Chiropractic or give us a call at 925-255-5805. Our team of chiropractors will help elicit your body’s natural ability to heal itself with a custom care plan, and objectively evaluate your body’s progress.