Telecommuting has advantages, but it also has disadvantages. The silver lining is that it saves valuable travel time and, let’s face it, it’s a little joy not to have to take forever to get ready in the morning – a little duvet and our favorite soft underwear. To work!
However, as days go by, people who telecommute can start to develop poor postural habits, and the pain can appear quickly.
So how do you maintain good posture while working from home without a conventional job? Fortunately, there are some tips for organizing smartly and staying productive without damage.
Why is posture so important?
The benefits of good posture are numerous, whether it’s for our alertness, our productivity, or our overall health. We highlight the following benefits of a correct posture for teleworking:
- Alignment of the vertebrae.
- Reduces pressure on back structures (discs, ligaments, and muscles).
- The risk of injury is reduced.
- Lower energy consumption.
Here are 10 tips to telework better at home
Beware of sedentary lifestyle
Avoid sitting for long periods of time. Make sure to get up regularly for micro breaks of 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Our colleague, a physiotherapist at a clinic in Oviedo, recommends getting up every 30 minutes. Take the time to do some stretching, drink water, go to the bathroom, or say hello to your cat. This way, you make sure you are not sedentary for hours, and your body will thank you.
There are also apps that help you manage your breaks to help rejuvenate your body and brain. These tools will serve as a reminder in case you don’t see time go by while you are absorbed in your work.
More information about the impact of sedentary lifestyle on health
How should you sit to telework?
When it comes to sitting posture while working at the computer, here are some recommended guidelines that we recommend.
Although it is not always easy to work from home without a custom work computer, the following rules are generally recommended for everyone:
- The feet should rest on the ground. A footrest can be provided.
- When you sit down, stick your buttocks out and sit at the bottom of the chair. Support your buttocks on the bottom of the chair with your lumbar curve supported. You can use a lumbar roll or a folded towel.
- Your thighs should be parallel to the floor.
- There should be a gap (about the width of a hand) between the knee hole and the seat.
- The armrests should match the height of your elbows and allow you to support them. They should not prevent you from approaching your desk.
- The desk should be at elbow height, with the keyboard and mouse as close as possible. Keep frequently used equipment within easy reach.
- The computer monitor should be positioned so that the top of the screen is at eye level, with the neck and head aligned with the rest of the body.
Remember to stretch regularly
To avoid back pain, in addition to good posture at work, stretching allows you to effortlessly relax your muscles while sitting or standing. If you have to sit for a long time, stretch as soon as you feel the need and at least every two hours to relax. You must combine it with breaths.
5 stretches very easy to perform
The Ostrich (back)
Sit in the chair with your legs at a 90-degree angle to the floor. Rest your elbows on your knees, cross your arms. Lower your chin as if looking at your feet, drop your head and exhale deeply. You should feel the weight of the head stretching along the nape of the neck and the paravertebral muscles gently stretching toward the pelvis. Repeat 5 times (inhale and exhale slowly) before straightening your head by inhaling.
The metronome (nape)
Stay in a sitting position, with your back straight, your arms along your torso and suspended in the air. Inhale and imagine that your head is stretched towards the ceiling with a rope. As you exhale, gently drop your head to the left side, looking straight ahead. Take three deep breaths in this position before straightening your head as you inhale. Then repeat the exercise on the right side.
The chicken (shoulders)
While still sitting, place your fingertips on your shoulders, keeping your elbows out and down. Breathing deeply through your nose, make five large circles forward and then back with your elbows. Return to the original position and repeat the same exercise in smaller circles.
Push (shoulder blades and back)
Sitting with your legs bent at 90 °, place your hands, fingers crossed, a few inches from your chest, palms facing you, and inhale. Exhaling through your nose, extend your arms as far in front as possible, turning your palms outward, bending your chin and rounding your back. Repeat the exercise 5 times in coordination with your breathing. Next, return to the extended arms position, stay that way and take 3 breaths.
The twist (back)
Sitting this time on the edge of the chair, with your back straight, your feet on the floor and your knees down, place your left hand on the outside of your right knee. Once in this position, breathe through your nose while lengthening your spine. As you exhale, turn to the right, using your left hand on your right knee. Imagine you want to look over your right shoulder.
Take 5 deep breaths, holding this position and making sure to lengthen your spine with each inhale. Twist a little more to the right with each exhale. At the end of the last exhale, gently bring your head and chest to the center, release your arms, and repeat the exercise to the left in the same way.
With these exercises (of strange names, it is true) you oxygenate the back and allow it to relax and rest. You must understand that the body is not designed to spend a long time in one position and movement is vital to be healthy. A correct posture for teleworking and these stretching exercises will help you feed your well-being.