With many of us social distancing during this time, that means that majority of us are also working from the couch, uh..I mean your home office! Although the couch may feel a lot more comfy than your typical desk chair at the office, it might be causing more harm than anything! Here are some tips to make working from home more enjoyable for your body!
There's not a "one size fits all", but there are proven ways to reduce discomfort when working from home. First of all, sitting in a chair is always going to be better than a couch or a bed. However, when sitting, make sure you're keeping a nice long spine. Also, keeping your knees at a 90 degree angle, either on the floor or with the help from a foot stool. Keeping a slight bend in your elbows, and positioning your monitor to where your neck remains straight (not looking down) will also help!
A lot of us have adopted the notion that we have to sit while working from a computer, but our bodies actually thrive off of movement. The truth is, the longer we sit, the more likely we are to lose that good posture mentioned above. Instead, every 20 minutes, get up and go for a short walk around the living room (or fridge for a little quarantine snack!). You can also practice 20 minute intervals of sitting and standing to perform your computer duties. If you have a smartwatch, there are plenty of apps that encourage moving throughout the day. This may be the little reminder you need to keep it moving!
Correct placement of your screen and keyboard
Typically, a good rule of thumb is to place the center of your computer screen level with your nose. This will keep your head from angling downward, which can increase your neck pain. As mentioned before, you want to keep a 90 degree bend in your elbows while typing.
Stretch It Out
While sitting in a chair, hold the seat with one hand and bend your head towards the opposite side for a gentle stretch to the side of the neck.
Seated Glute/Hip stretch:
While sitting in a chair, cross your leg with the ankle of one foot on the knee of the other. Next, push the top of the knee downward for a gentle stretch.
Lower Trunk Rotations:
Lying on your back with your knees bent, gently let your knees fall from side to side while keeping both knees together. This will give you a nice stretch of the low back.
As always, don't forget to listen to your body. If you're starting to feel tired or achy, give your self a break. It's okay to know and admit "Okay, thats enough for today" and pick up where you left off at a later time.