Thanks to coronavirus we are going to be stuck with the work-from-home scenario for a little longer than we expected. Do you know what the worst part is? The fact that we don’t have a workstation and mostly end up lounging wherever we find space at home. Apart from contributing to our laziness, it is also going to end up harming our spine!
Being in office meant that we could move about a little, be it to visiting the cafeteria or a colleague’s desk. Plus, proper chairs and equipment gave comfort to our posture but this isn’t quite possible when we’re working from our home.
Why maintaining the right posture is such a biggie
Here’s some food for your spine: Allowing yourself to sit in the wrong position won’t just give you a bad backache for a day or two but end up having long-term repercussions.
We’re not the only ones saying this. According to a study published in a journal called Technology and Health Care, a bad sitting posture for a prolonged time may lead to spinal or musculoskeletal disease. So, that’s a good enough reason to correct your posture ASAP.
So, we talked to an expert and got you these easy but effective tips on how you can maintain a good posture right from the comfort of your home.
Please welcome, Dr. Garima Anandani, a physiotherapist and a spine specialist with Qi Spine Clinic, Mumbai who has some very important suggestions that will help you keep your spine happy.
“You should know your angles to maintain the right posture,” says Dr Anandani
“I know it’s a little tricky because at times we are so engrossed in our work that we forget to check how we are sitting but we have to remind ourselves that we need to correct our posture if we don’t want our spine to be sore,” she cautions.
So what is the ideal posture for a healthy spine? Dr Anandani explains two important tricks when it comes to correcting your sitting position:
Don’t make a C shape with your spine, but make an S
Dr. Anandani says, “When you slouch, your spine makes a C which puts pressure on your lower back, and hence, soreness bothers you. To make an S, you need to pull your buttocks out towards the back of your chair and keep your upper back straight.”
Know the right angles
Another thing that Dr Anandani had suggestions on were the angles between your arms and keyboard and between your eyes and screen. She suggests that “To maintain a proper posture you need to maintain a 90-degree angle between your upper arm and forearm. Also, the centre of your laptop screen should be placed at an angle of 15 to 20 degrees below your eye level.”
Apart from these, here are seven simple tips that will help you maintain a better posture during your work from home sessions according to Dr. Anandani:
1. Avoid sitting on a bed
According to our expert, sitting on the bed will put more pressure on your lower back and hence, needs to be avoided. In case you have no other option, investing in a good bed table will help you maintain your angles.
2. Don’t cross your leg while you are sitting on a chair
Dr Anandani says that “While you cross your legs you tend to slouch more and the C formation wrecks your posture, leading to back pain.”
3. Pull the chair inside your table
“Pulling your chair inside the table will allow you to be more upright, pushing your hips back”, according to Dr Garima Anandani.
4. Keep your feet on the floor
Letting your feet hang in the air can lead to cramps and numbness. “Your thighs and lower leg should maintain an angle of 90-degree with each other. And if you are shorter in height then you can place a box to support your feet”, she suggests.
5. Use a laptop stand
“If you have a laptop stand, make good use of it. If you don’t have one, however, then place one or two books below your laptop to maintain the angle of your eye”, says Dr. Anandani.
6. Take a small cushion to maintain your posture
If you are unable to maintain the right posture then as suggested by Dr Anandani, you should take a small cushion and place it behind your back.
7. Prefer a chair with armrest
“A chair with an armrest will automatically maintain the angles that I have suggested for your arms,” says Dr Anandani.
Apart from this, our expert suggests that you should take frequent breaks in the middle and stretch to keep back spasm at bay. Stretching your fingers, blinking your eyes, and stretching your neck will also help you in maintaining a better posture, according to her.
When it comes to holding our phones, she says that “Nowadays we are mostly on Zoom calls for meetings and therefore, it is very important to keep our phones straight instead of at a lower level. This can lead to a text neck.”
The lockdown during this situation has to be complete but the restrictions don’t have to mean that our spines suffer. A little care can go a long way for us to come out of this with the right posture.