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When it comes to posture, it's much more than comfort. As a physiotherapist, I often see people stuck in cycles of work-related body problems such as headaches, back pain, neurological problems and tingling of the arms.
These problems not only affect productivity, but can also affect your quality of life. Research has even shown that poor posture is associated with low self-confidence.
And since work from home has become the new norm, many people are preparing for life again without the chic standing desk and the deliciously contoured chair of their office.
The Good News Practicing good habits and maybe making a few minor changes to your work from home can make all the difference.
"Most of my clients have been complaining of new low back pain since working more from home," says NYC-based physiotherapist Charlotte Sayers. “This is due to the longer sitting time and less activity. Our back does not like to be kept in the same posture for a long time, especially when sitting. “
The following posture tips can make sitting around a desk for 8 hours a lot easier for your body.
. Maintain a slight sway in your lower back
Four out of five adults experience lower back pain. To support this, sit with your butt against the back of the seat and place a small, firm pillow in the hollow area of your lower spine, where your back naturally sways.
2. Bend your elbows 90 degrees
Your desk should be at any height so that your elbows can bend 90 degrees when typing. If your chair has adjustable arms, make sure that they are also at this height.
3. Position your chin parallel to the floor.
Neck pain and (cervicogenic) headache can occur when you stare at a screen that is either too high or too low for long hours. To avoid this, position your screen directly in front of your natural eye level.
4. Pull your chin back and insert it lightly.
Most of us stick our chin out slightly when we look at a screen that causes pain in the cervical spine. Pull your chin back so that it is directly behind your collarbones. Then contract your chin slightly as if you were holding a tennis ball with your chin.
5. Open your shoulders
Most people are connected to some extent, but the truth is, it's super hard on your spine and back. Gently roll your shoulders down and back to avoid sagging and feel the muscles in your upper back engage.
6. Bend your knees 90 degrees, feet flat on the floor
A good posture begins in your feet – consider it the basis of your posture. It is next to impossible to maintain a straight spine unless your feet are pressed flat on the floor, especially for hours.
You should also avoid placing your legs on anything, as this can tighten your hamstrings and even irritate your sciatic nerve if you have an existing stiffness of the spine.
"It is very important that you are well positioned at home to reduce postural injuries, especially the" technical throat, "that may persist internally beyond our extended time," he says Sayers.
Here are some products you should invest in if you have regular body aches.
1. Use a posture app
Knowing what a good posture looks like is useless unless you actually think about correcting your posture all day, which is a pretty big question for most of us . Fortunately, there are many apps for this.
MacBreakz prompts you to do stretches (most of which you can do from your chair) to maintain good posture and relieve tension. It costs $ 24.99, but you can try it out with a 14-day free trial first.
Another app, Posture Man Pat, uses your laptop's webcam to remind you when you lie down. While this feature may seem intrusive – if not scary – to some, it's completely free.
2. Try a posture corrector.
There are many portable products that are designed to promote better posture. Although these products are not perfect (common complaints are the bulkiness and the unnatural feeling of wearing them), they can remind you that you need to keep your shoulders back and your spine straight.
Read the posture corrections in this article. They have been checked by experts.
3. Get up every hour
Even if you have trained yourself to sit in perfect posture all day, people are not built to sit 8 hours a day. When you get up, you leave your static position and your muscles shoot and the joints move again.
Studies have shown that you can alleviate pain by regularly stretching the affected muscles and building strength in key areas.
Try the following four routes for at least 1 minute each, twice a day.
1. Child pose
Child pose is a great stretch to extend your spine and relieve tension in your back at the moment.
2. Standing Forward Fold
This movement gives the hamstrings a deep stretch and at the same time releases the tension in the upper back and shoulders. This stretch is about getting a straight back, which for most of us means bending the knees.
Katzenkuh is a spine awareness section with which you can relieve tension along your entire spine. When you do cat cow, breathe in through the cow area (if you have your back crooked) and breathe out as you circle your spine.
4. Breast stretching
If you are a sloucher, this stretching will certainly feel good. You can also deepen the stretch by bending at the waist and putting your hands over your head behind you.
It is normal to have pain after a long day, even if your posture is pretty good. Chronic pain is more intense and can have a serious impact on your daily life.
Sharp, stinging, intense back pain that lasts longer than 3 months is considered chronic. In this case, changes in posture alone are probably not enough.
For chronic back pain, in addition to contacting a doctor, some of the following measures should be examined:
- Physiotherapy to improve mobility and function
- Mindfulness training
And See a doctor if your back pain appears with the following symptoms:
- numbness, tingling or weakness in your legs
- sharp, persistent pain, especially if it worsens at night
- sudden weight loss
- throbbing Abdominal cavity
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
Caitlin Reid is a physiotherapist, clinical Pilates trainer and inventor of wellness retreats. She works with private patients, groups, and hotel brands to help everyone move and feel better.