Working from home has its perks. Working hours are more flexible, the coffee is always prepared perfectly, and you might even be more productive at home than in an office. But working from home can also come with its own set of challenges. One of the most common problems people face with remote work is back and shoulder pain from poor posture.
Slouching over a computer all day or constantly looking down at your smartphone can be a major contributing factor to bad posture. This hunched position rounds your shoulders, extends your neck, and curves your spine into an unnatural position. Over time, this restricted posture causes some muscles to become tight and inflexible, while others are underutilized and weak.
If this poor posture becomes habitual, it can lead to neck pain, headaches, chest tightness, and back pain. Continuous slouching also decreases your lung capacity since your body is essentially folded in on itself, making simple activities harder to perform without getting shortness of breath.
Tips for Better Posture
When the spine is aligned correctly, all 33 vertebrae are stacked on top of each other following the three natural curves of the spine. When looking at the body from the side, you should be able to draw a line from your shoulders, to just behind your hip, to slightly in front of the knee and down to your ankle. This keeps your center of gravity directly over your base of support, allowing you to move efficiently with minimal muscular fatigue.
To improve your posture and minimize the stress on your spine, find opportunities to add movement to your daily routine. Utilize a standing desk to take pressure off your back and shoulders while you work. Practicing daily shoulder and back strengthening exercises can also help your body resist the slouch.
If you notice your body starting to slouch after a while, take that as your cue to take a short break from your work to stretch. Stretching can dramatically reduce muscle stiffness and stress on the spine while improving your body’s flexibility. Below are three unique stretches you can add to your daily routine to help loosen up your neck, chest, and hips.
*Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor before any exercise program. if you experience any numbness, tingling, or reproduction of your symptoms, please contact your doctor.⠀
- Sit with your back straight.
- Tilt and turn your head to the opposite side.
- Nod your head forward until a stretch is felt along the side and back of the neck.
- Apply gentle pressure with your hand to increase the stretch if needed.
- Hold the stretch for up to 30 seconds.
- Stand up in front of an open doorway.
- Place your forearm along the wall. Keep your fingers angled downward.
- Lean your body forward until you feel a stretch across your chest and the front of your arm.
- Hold this stretch for up to 30 seconds.
Hip Flexor Stretch
- Begin in a half kneeling position.
- Engage the glutes to tilt your pelvis backward, flattening your low back and stretching the front of the hip.
- If a greater stretch is needed, lightly press your hips forward, keeping your back flat and body upright.
- hold the stretch for 30-60 seconds.
Keeping Good Posture with Airrosti
If stiffness or pain have been interfering with your work or daily activities, schedule an appointment with an Airrosti provider today. Our expert providers pinpoint the cause of your pain and treat it directly at the source. They also equip you with personalized exercises and stretches to increase strength and flexibility of targeted muscles and help prevent future injuries.
We also offer remote telehealth appointments. Give us a call at (800) 404-6050 to learn more about telehealth and schedule your virtual appointment today.
View our medical disclaimer here.