Work from home is not a new trend now. Almost every second person is working from home these days. While some people have proper work/study setups at home, many still struggle to find a suitable place to work comfortably. Some may be found working on the bed, some on the couch, as well as in the kitchen too!
Appropriate work posture is very important. If you are not sitting or standing in the right position, it can lead to a range of complications related to the neck and back. And at times, affect the normal movements. The treatment of such issues can also be time-consuming, so it is better to maintain a good work posture to avoid any injuries or chronic pain.
Here’s how you can improve your posture if you are:
If you are sitting on the bed while working from home, place a pillow behind you to support your back. Place another below your lower thighs. Look down with your eyes, not your neck. Adjust your laptop screen to avoid neck strain.
The screen should be exactly at eye level and the keyboard adjusted to the level where the elbows are angled at 90 degrees. The screen and keyboard of a desktop can be positioned according to the required height separately.
- Chair: Rest your back about 10-20 degrees beyond vertical to relieve pressure on discs. Your chair should also provide support from your lower back up to your shoulder blades.
- Hips and Feet: Your hips should be slightly higher than your knees, your butt as far back as possible, and your feet flat on the floor.
- Hands: Avoid reaching for your keyboard or mouse. You should be able to place your hands comfortably in your lap and then raise them a few inches to reach both keyboard and mouse.
- Monitor: The top of your monitor should be at eye level. Make sure you can read the screen easily and that it's not backlit.
- Upper body: You should be reclining with your head, neck, and shoulders in line with your torso and relaxed. Beware of very high armrests that keep your shoulders shrugged.
At the kitchen counter:
While working at a kitchen counter, avoid slouching by raising the laptop level. To do so, place the laptop on a stand or any such block/item that would help with the same. Stand on an anti-fatigue mat to prevent slips and injuries. A study at England’s Loughborough University confirms that anti-fatigue mats can significantly impact the well-being of workers who stand for prolonged periods.
On a recliner or sofa:
The first thing that you need to arrange is a mouse if you don’t have one. Use a separate mouse instead of a laptop trackpad to increase the movement of the hand. Use a lap desk or place a pillow on your lap to elevate the laptop level. Place a pillow behind the back and maintain an upright position. Place the feet on a block or foot stand.
- Keep everything you need close at an arm’s distance so that you can pick them without any strain.
- Use a phone headset or earphones while on a call. Holding the phone up to your ear can lead to pain in the arm after some time.
- Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. This will also enable you to get up frequently for urination.
- Perform stretching exercises in between. Take breaks to release muscle stiffness and tension that may occur after continuously staying in a particular position.
Whether you’re working from a desk, kitchen counter, sofa, couch, or bed, you should maintain the correct posture to avoid any discomfort in your body. Pay attention to your body if anything doesn’t feel right. Make changes accordingly, but don’t ignore that pain or uneasiness. Sometimes just a tiny adjustment can make you feel more comfortable.