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6 Simple Ways to Improve Your Posture When Working at Home

Woman with back pain in home officeMore than 5 million Canadians are working from home, and most expect to continue working remotely after the pandemic. The work-from-home movement has its advantages – like freedom and flexibility – but many Canadians are struggling to find a comfortable workspace.

Seeing a chiropractor in Winnipeg can help, but taking steps to improve your posture will address the root cause of the problem.

1. Create a Designated Workspace

Having a designated workstation will make it easier to sit properly while working. Ideally, your workspace should be away from the couch or bed. Sure, it’s comfortable to work in these spaces, but your posture and spine will suffer.

Here are a few tips to make your home workspace more ergonomic:

  • Adjust the height of your screen so that it’s eye level.
  • If you’re using a laptop, try raising the screen and connecting an external keyboard to keep your elbows at a right angle.
  • Make sure that your feet are flat on the ground and directly underneath your knees.
  • Your legs should form a 90-degree angle, and your hips should be straight.
  • Lift your chest, bring your abs in towards your spine and roll your shoulders backwards.
  • Your upper body should be stacked: shoulders over the ribs, and ribs over the hips.
  • Keep your elbows at the sides of your waist and bent at a right angle.

Having a designated workspace will not only promote good posture, but it will also help you keep your work and personal life as separate as possible. It eliminates distractions as well, so you can stay focused and on track.

2. Invest in an Ergonomic Chair

Couches and dining chairs aren’t designed for working. While choosing a chair is a personal decision, an ergonomic work chair is worth every penny. The key most important thing is to make sure that your spine is properly aligned.

An ergonomic chair doesn’t necessarily have to be an adjustable office chair, but having that adjustability can certainly help. Most modern chairs will allow you to adjust:

  • The height of the seat to ensure your feet sit flat on the floor.
  • The position of the backrest to ensure that your knees are at a 90-degree angle.
  • The height of the armrest to keep your elbows at a right angle.
  • Lumbar support to encourage a straight spine.

Being able to customize your chair’s fit can make a world of difference for your posture. The right chair will also keep you comfortable as you work.

3. Take Breaks to Get Up and Move

Our bodies aren’t meant to sit for 8-10 hours or more a day. We’re designed to move, so make sure that you take breaks to get up and move throughout the day.

If you’re having trouble remembering to get up, try setting an alarm every hour to remind yourself that it’s time to move.

4. Move Your Head and Neck, Too

As a chiropractor, I see a lot of patients with neck pain in Winnipeg. Poor posture and tech neck are major contributors to the problem, but many people also forget to move their necks while they’re working.

Just before you get up from your desk, take a minute or two to change the position of your head. Look up, down, left, right and then do a few neck circles to stretch your neck muscles.

5. Use a Sit-Stand Desk

Sitting or standing for long periods of time is hard on the body. As with most things in life, balance is the key to avoiding pain and maintaining a healthy spine.

A sit-stand desk can help you find that balance. Periodically throughout the day, you can switch from standing and working to sitting comfortably and working. You can also find desk converters that offer the same function, but at a more affordable price.

6. Use Props to Improve Your Posture

If you’re working from home, you don’t necessarily have to invest in brand new furniture for your office. You can use props from around the house to ensure that your body is properly aligned while working.

  • Ottomans, books and boxes can serve as footrests if your chair is too high. This will help you keep your knees straight and stacked over your ankles.
  • If you must use a couch or bed to work, prop yourself up with pillows to support your back. If you’re lying in bed, place pillows under your legs and arms as well.
Proper posture is important for spine health and to prevent pain. Working from home can make it difficult to maintain healthy posture, but these tips can help.

If you have questions on how to improve your posture while working from home, feel free to contact us.

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