Good Posture While Working from Home
During the height of the coronavirus pandemic, it is estimated that as much as 50% of America’s entire workforce was actually working from their own homes. Once the novelty of working from home wore off, a great many people decided that they really enjoyed the casual approach to getting their work done. However, what a great many people discovered was that their good posture habits at home were worse than in the workplace, and they ended up with pain and discomfort in the shoulders, neck, and lower back.
Problems with posture working at home
There are of course, some other issues with working at home, such as the temptation to overeat, and the fact that you remain largely isolated from your colleagues. But of greater concern is the fact that musculoskeletal disorders can develop, and that will reduce your productivity, and eventually have a significant impact on your quality of life.
It has been found that the most frequently occurring musculoskeletal disorders among people working from their homes includes carpal tunnel syndrome, muscle strains, tears, and sprains, hernias, and back pain. It is possible to avoid all these disorders, if you take the time and effort to set up your homework space while keeping good health and good posture in mind.
How good is your posture?
Most people who work from home find themselves glued to their desks for something like nine hours every day. When you devote this much time to sitting at your desk, and you engage in poor posture without taking a break, this is exactly what triggers the musculoskeletal disorders mentioned above. When thinking about your own posture, here are the factors you should keep in mind.
Neutral posture is the attitude adopted most commonly while accomplishing your work at a desk. Neutral posture refers to the fact that you’re sitting with your neck straight, your shoulders directly under your ears, your feet flat on the ground, and your hips, knees, and elbows at a 90° angle. Either when you’re seated or standing, your mouse and keyboard should always be level with your elbows.
Your computer monitor should be positioned at eye level, or perhaps slightly below eye level. The idea behind this is that you shouldn’t have to look down in order to easily see everything on your computer screen. When you set up your work area, everything you need to accomplish a day’s work should be within arms reach. You should never have to strain to reach something that you will be using every day, because this is a very common way for muscle strains and sprains to occur.
Setting up your workspace
Here’s how you should arrange your workspace:
- Never work from your couch, and you should always have a single dedicated work area.
- Make sure you have a good chair which can be adjusted to a height that keeps your thighs parallel with the floor.
- For greater comfort, you can support your lower back with a rolled up towel or a lumbar pillow.
- Make sure your wrists are aligned with the arms whenever you’re using your keyboard.
- As much as possible, keep your elbows close to your sides, and support your arm weight by using the arms of your chair.
- Avoid slumping forward or hunching over your desk.
If you can take a break at least once every hour, it will be very helpful to stretch and move around, so you can avoid slipping into bad posture habits.
If you are suffering from any of the symptoms mentioned because of poor posture working from home, give our skilled chiropractors a call at (973) 542-9944 or claim your FREE consultation for new patients today.