By now we have all begun to adapt to our new lifestyle amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. It is pretty remarkable how quickly we can alter our daily lives to fit the ongoing changes that 2020 has brought on. For better or worse, much of these changes are centered around technology. We now rely heavily on platforms like Zoom and Facetime for e-learning, working virtually from home, and even connecting socially with family and friends. Though technology has made all of this possible, it does have one major downfall: promoting poor posture.
Many companies and schools have announced their plans to continue remote learning and remote working until sometime next year. If you know that you are in need of a home office for several more months, it may be time to consider investing a little time and money into your set up. You may be spending 8+ hours a day in this office; do your body a favor and take a few minutes to enhance your set-up!
There is a plethora of ergonomic equipment choices out there from chairs and desks to mice and keyboards. If you are going to invest in one thing, I would recommend getting a good desk chair because it is the foundation for the rest of your posture. There are a lot of companies and brands out there and they all have good options. If you are looking for a chair, you want to make sure it has three main things: low back support, arm rests and adjustable height. From there you can get other bells and whistles, but those are the most important features and all you really need. If you have hand or wrist issues, it might be worth looking into alternate keyboards like the split keyboard or a vertical mouse.
First, if your office consists of a bed, a couch, or any other furniture that is generally used for sleeping and lounging, then there is a problem. Although they may feel comfortable, couches and beds make it difficult for you to maintain good posture and may lead to pain in the long term. A desk chair is the best option; we’ll talk more detail in the next section. For now, it’s time to evaluate your daily routine and kick the bad habits that may contribute to discomfort or pain.
The above graphic is your posture in ideal set up. Obviously, we don’t all have adjustable chairs and desks at home; some of us use laptops vs monitors, and we don’t want to spend tons of money on at-home ergonomic equipment. However, it is worth it to invest some time into setting up a home office space that gets you as close as possible to this ideal set up.
Try some of these stretches at your desk during your micro breaks:
If you begin to have neck, low back or wrist pain while working, contact an Athletico near you for a free assessment from a physical or occupational therapist. Free assessments are available in-clinic and virtually through our Telehealth platform.
Physical therapy is usually the thing you are told to do after medication, x-rays or surgery. The best way to fix your pain is to start where you normally finish – with physical therapy at Athletico.
The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.