Improve your posture

While working from home

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Is working from home impacting your posture?

The current global pandemic has brought about a wide range of changes, across many aspects of our lives. One of the most prominent, is a change in our everyday working lives. Thus, we have seen the rise in working from home. The meetings that were once face-to-face are now emails, our interactions with co-workers are now over zoom, and our desks or cubicles are now couches or dining room tables. This change in workstation ergonomics can have detrimental impacts on your spinal health. Our necks, spine, and shoulders are all susceptible to the negative effects of incorrect sitting positions and impromptu desk setups. The lack of correct sitting posture can lead to back pain.

‘text neck’, and headaches. A 2020 systematic review indicates that a forward head posture, colloquially referred to as ‘text neck’, can lead to neck pain, muscle tightness, as well as impacted breathing patterns and poor balance 1. With the current demands of working from home, this issue is particularly relevant. At Brisbane Posture and Performance, we have seen first-hand the detrimental impacts of forward head positions, and continuous incorrect seating posture.

Things to avoid while working from home

There are numerous incentives to working from home. A reduced commute time, increased time with pets or children, and more opportunities for sneaky snack breaks are all benefits of time away from the office environment. However, there are important things to avoid when working remotely. Sitting on the couch, or comfy seats maybe be appealing, but they can often lack the proper spinal supports to encourage correct postural positions. Furthermore, these comfy couches can lift your knees to a level above your hips, which can negatively impact your posture. Also, the length of time you are in a seated working position is vital to maintaining correct posture. Long periods of time spent in one position, especially an incorrect postural position, are to be avoided. The height of your at-home work setup is important. Any position that promotes a forward and down head position can lead to neck pain, and incorrect posture.

Tips to help with posture while working from home

While working from home, providing yourself with a good foundation is key. Ensuring that your desk or computer is at an appropriate height can help prevent a forward, tilted head position. This can reduce possible tension and neck pain. Likewise, when sitting, make sure that your hips are higher than your knees to assist with correct posture positioning. Finally, while working from home, it is easy to lose track of time. Ensure that you are monitoring how long you are seated for. Try to stand and move around in order to reduce the amount of time you are sitting down.

Overall, working from home has many benefits to our lives. However, it is important to monitor your postural positions while at home. Neck pain, muscle tightness, and headaches are all possible outcomes of unhealthy, incorrect sitting and postural positions. If you find yourself suffering from neck pain or postural issues, the team at Brisbane Posture and Performance is here to help you reclaim a healthy posture.

1 Szczygiel, E., Fudacz, N., Golec, J. & Golec, E. (2020). The impact of the position of the head on the functioning of the human body: a systematic review. Int J Occup Med Environ Health 33(5), 559-568. https://doi.org/10.13075/ijomeh.1896.01585

Would you like to book an appointment with one of our Chiropractors? If so please call Brisbane Posture and Performance.