Working from home provides so much convenience and comfort, whether you sit on your bed, couch, the floor, or a sub-par ergonomic desk, the question of whether or not you are keeping good posture is critical. Without a doubt, what a blessing to be able to multitask while at home and get daily chores done at the same time, but that came at a cost. With the climate of the pandemic and all the adaptation we have had to endure, our bodies also started to adapt. Longer work hours, prolonged sitting, poor work set up combined with poor posture has had its effects. Stiff necks, aching backs, headaches, and other issues. While people are seeking help from their therapists, correct posture while working remotely still remains challenging for some, but the effects of avoiding this correction may leads to long term injuries. Maybe this list will persuade you to maintain good postural habits not only from working from home, but wherever you are.

1. Lower Back

Your lower back will take a lot of abuse. Many do not realize the stresses placed on the spine while sitting comfortably. Sitting in a slouched posture for prolonged periods of time places a lot of load on the structures of the spine which then coincides with increased low back pain. Structures that can be affected include intervertebral discs, ligaments, vertebral joints and musculature not to mention tightness of muscles and weakening of the core.

2. Shoulders and Neck

Without being aware many of us fall into this posture of a forward head and rounded shoulder while working on the computer. The muscles of the upper back, shoulder, and neck are all strained by a forward-head and rounded-shoulder also known as “tech neck”. This posture can lead to shoulder impairments, neck pain as well as headaches. By simply taking a few minutes to check in with your posture, these can easily rectified and you will be at minimal risk for chronic overuse injury.

3. Hip Joint Wear and Tear

Hip pain has also become a common complaint in the work from home population. Hip strain can be caused by crooked sitting, such as resting on one leg or on one side of your body. A sustained position especially with the hip joint is under stress can naturally cause muscles strains as well degenerative changes to the joint.

4. Headaches

Tension headaches can easily be avoided by maintaining a neutral spine. Many find themselves leaning in to the computer screen more or looking down to any form of device, this results in more load to the spine and associated muscles.

5. Keep Your Core and Upper Back Strong

This doesn’t take much, and our bodies are very capable of providing the spine the stability it needs. The only thing to keep in mind is placing the body in the optimal position so that our muscles can perform how they need to perform. When you keep your spine in proper alignment, your core and back muscles remain active and engaged, making them stronger and therefore making it easier to stay in good posture.

6. . Impacts on Lung Capacity, Digestion, and Circulation

When you slouch, you decrease the space for your chest and lungs to expand. This limitation in allowing the rib to expand will only allow for shallow breathing. This negatively impacts the breathing pattern and that may lead to poor circulation and digestion.

Deep breathing and increasing the capacity of your lungs has many benefits including, less mental fatigue, better productivity, and increased concentration, not to mention overall sense of increased levels of energy.

The Takeaway

We are resilient, and have proven to be so as we have endured endless change the past few years due to the pandemic. We continue to fight this fight, and as things change yet again, many have adopted a hybrid work schedule. Regardless of where you work, little changes in postural behaviour will be a game changer. Imagine a work day with less pain, less strain and discomfort and a happy body. It’s not hard, but it takes awareness, practice and consistency. If you don’t’ know where to start, the team at Physio In The Six Inc. will guide you every step of the way.

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