Due to our current situation many of us have found ourselves working from home. If this is not something you are accustomed to, you may find yourself looking for an area in your home ideal for sitting and working at the computer. This may be a kitchen/dining room table, a desk in your home, or maybe sitting on the couch or a recliner with a laptop. However most tables are not an adequate height, and the chairs likely are not adjustable like a normal office chair. If you are seated using a laptop you are likely in a slouched forward position.
How Can You Maintain Good Posture?
Keep the computer close to you. Try to maintain an elbow position of about 90 degrees while using the keyboard and mouse. This will help keep your shoulders from rolling forward and will also help you to relax your shoulders.
If your keyboard and mouse are wireless, stack a few books under the laptop, or use a laptop stand if you have one to bring the screen to a higher level.
Use a pillow in the small of your back to add extra support to the chair. You can also sit on a pillow if the chair does not have a cushion.
Other Posture Tips
Get up and move every 20-30 minutes. Stand up, straighten up, and maybe do a few mild stretches just to get your body moving. Take a minute or two to walk around the room before sitting back down and beginning work again.
If you are frequently on the phone try to use a headset or earbuds if you have them, or use the speakerphone option if possible to help keep your head in a neutral position. If these are not options, try to avoid tucking your phone between your ear and shoulder for extended periods of time.
Take posture breaks. If your working posture is not ideal, try to take a few seconds every 5-10 minutes and look up at the ceiling, roll out your shoulders, and straighten your back position. This will help give your body a rest from that slouched posture and will help prevent a flare up of pain.
Kids in Online School
With many kids now at home with online schooling – device use is at an all time high. While technology use has helped families navigate this pandemic, it isn’t without possible side effects.
Kids are in a forward position over a computer, laptop, or tablet for hours continuously throughout the day. This extended type of position often leads to middle back pain, neck pain, and headaches.
Here are a couple tips to help prevent these conditions from arising:
- Remind your children to get up and move on their breaks. Try to get up and move or stretch for a few minutes every hour. Going outside for a few minutes to play, doing some simple exercises or walking around the house between lessons is helpful. Setting aside 30-60 minutes for activity daily is also very helpful.
- Previously when in school kids were moving throughout the day. Now most are sedentary for a majority of the day. Setting aside time for physical activity is very important. Lack of physical activity also decreases immune health. These recommendations also apply to parents who may now be spending 8-10 hours per day sedentary while working from home as well. We recommend you stand up and stretch for a few minutes every hour.
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