Is it possible to improve my posture when working from home?
Over the last 10 years, since I started working behind a desk, I was confronted by a problem that I’m sure affects many of us: I noticed my shoulders hunch forward and I got lower back pain very often. This was caused by my bad posture.
That’s why, when I started working from home last year, I made a decision: I would improve my posture.
It didn’t seem that hard to do, since, from that point on, I would be able to get up and walk around whenever I wanted. However, the truth is that I was so engaged with my work that I kept losing track of time… and ended up walking around even less than when I was working in an office.
Seeking Professional Help For Your Poor Posture
After realizing that I couldn’t fix this problem all by myself, I contacted Sydney Sports and Exercise Physiology, experts in the field of sport science, exercise rehabilitation and chronic disease management.
I was assigned to Taylor Mikaelian. Taylor has always been passionate about sports and physical activity in general – she had a successful career in Soccer and has even participated competitively in Oz Tag, Swimming and Dance. I knew I was in the right hands!
I went on to my first consultation to SSEP Physiologists, where they carried out a detailed medical and musculoskeletal history (fancy, right?) and evaluated my lifestyle and behaviors. They also conducted international standard anthropometric measurements to complete my profile.
After this assessment, I got an individualised exercise plan, some key strategies to achieve my goal and also some appropriate written resources. In addition to this, Taylor gave me really helpful information, regarding my problem, that I would love to share with you, now that I know that most people share the same struggles.
Top Tips For Improving My Posture from my Home Office
So, here were the top 4 posture tips I got from Sydney Sports and Exercise Physiology on how to improve my posture:
- We should keep our feet flat on the floor, while working behind the desk, instead of crossing the legs, knees or ankles.
- Our knees should be at the same height as the hips, or even slightly lower and the ankles should be right in front of our knees.
- Shoulders should be relaxed and forearms should be parallel to the floor.
- We should always sit up straight, instead of slumping to one side, and look forward, to prevent neck strain.
Setting up your computer monitor and accessories in your home office
- The top of the monitor screen should be at eye level and it should also be an arm’s length away
- Our keyboard should be 4-6 inches away from the edge of the desk (so the wrists have a place to rest)
- The use of an ergonomic mouse and mouse pad is also recommended
After getting this health lesson, Taylor assigned me some exercises to do with her and at home. Those weren’t challenging – the secret was really in the discipline!
My Lower Back Pain Has Already Disappeared!
So now, it’s been over 6 weeks since I saw Taylor for the 3rd time. I was so glad when I noticed that my shoulders have begun sitting back in their rightful positions! I stopped having lower back pain too!
I fully recommend paying attention to your posture.
Now that I changed my posture and home office workstation, I can really tell the difference. My work is more efficient because I’m not distracted by pain! And I’m sure that if you start using some of the tips I shared with you, you will start feeling the difference too!
Jenny Agoston is first and foremost a mum of two beautiful girls. She works from home on her online business which provides learning resources for high school teachers and loves the flexibility this gives her to spend quality time with her family.