Helpful Posture Tips to Use While Working From Home, According to a Professional

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Working from home has its perks — not having to rush while commuting, the ease of not having to dress up in business casual every day, and a whole lot more. But, for every positive, there is always a negative. Working from home has lent itself to the designing of makeshift desks, new working hours, and {the most painful of all, probably} posture problems. 

When we’re at our physical desks + in our office chairs at work, often they’re designed to ease any potential pain on our bodies. But, when your dining room or living room becomes your office, things change. That’s why we asked Dr. John Rotundo, Director of Physician Services at Hudson Family Chiropractic, Physical Therapy, & Acupuncture in Hoboken to share some posture {and body pain} saving tips to utilize while we work from home {and can keep using when we’re back in the office}.

Common Types of Pain + Problems

good posture

^ Dr. Rotundo demonstrating!

Stress levels about the uncertainty of the world coupled with working from home are causing\exacerbating all sorts of physical problems, Dr. Rotundo shared. Since he and his staff reopened their chiropractic and physical therapist office, he said that he and his team are seeing significant amounts of neck, upper back, and lower back pain as well as headaches, all of which can be exacerbated by home setups that offer poor ergonomics. 

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Tips to Avoid the Pain

good posture

To any future body issues, while you work from home, Dr. Rotundo is sharing a few tips to literally ease the pain.

First, breathe. Stress and the psychosomatic symptoms it can cause are very real. If you find yourself going down that rabbit hole, give yourself 10 seconds to take a few deep breaths in through the nose out through the mouth and give your body a break.

Now, on to the at-home office setup. Dr. Rotundo’s assumption is that most people are on laptops at their kitchen table or something like that. The problem with a setup like this is that the top of your screen is supposed to be eye level, which likely isn’t happening while your computer sits at your dining table.

To achieve this a laptop stand coupled with a wireless keyboard and mouse offers a good solution. This allows you to sit more upright and equally distribute the weight to your body. 

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Plus, let’s remember that the average head weighs approximately 10 to 11 pounds. If you tilt your head down to look at a screen, the weight pulling on your neck and upper back muscles now increases to anywhere between 30 and 60 pounds depending on the angle. Changing your setup will reduce that pull which should help with neck/upper back pain and headaches.  

good posture

Also sitting more upright equally distributes the weight of your body in a much better way to your lower back. Better yet, if you can somehow arrange your setup so you can stand while working, that could be beneficial as well. This is what Dr. Rotundo does at home and it has helped tremendously 

Stretching is another way for you to relieve some tension. Some easy exercises you can do at home to help relieve lower back pain would include pelvic tilts, cat/cow stretching, piriformis stretch, knee to chest, and seated lumbar twist.  Also, stretch those hamstrings! Being seated for long periods of time can shorten your hamstrings and a short muscle is a tight muscle. Hamstrings are directly connected to your pelvis and can affect your lower back. Therefore hamstring stretching is super important. The same goes for your quads which are in front of your leg. Some simple quad stretching by bringing your heel to your buttock may be helpful.   

Any combination of the above suggestions, even if you do one or two things, could make a big difference. Try some of them out and see what works for you.  

What are some of your tips? Let us know in the comments!

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