The Work from Home Slouch
Joti Mall, (Hon) BSc. Life Sci, MSc. PT, RPT - Registered Physiotherapist
Due to COVID-19, many of us are spending more time at home. This means sitting at converted dining table desks & kitchen conference room stools. Although it is nice to have a change in pace and not have to wear a suit to the office each morning, prolonged sitting can often turn into slouching. Additionally, many tasks (typing, texting, conference calls, emailing), often require us to lean forward and promote further slouching.
What are the impacts of prolonged slouching?
Prolonged slouching can lead to issues such as: back pain, tension headaches, muscle tightness, muscle weakness, muscle imbalances, reduced flexibility, reduced air entry into the lungs, and even structural changes to the spine itself.
What are some strategies to avoid slouching?
1. Take mini breaks throughout your day:
Set a timer to remind yourself to get up
Stand up, walk around the kitchen
Stand against the wall and do some snow angels
2. Do ‘posture checks’ with yourself throughout the day:
Are my shoulders hunched up near my ears? Am I curved and slumped forward? Is my head burrowed into my shoulders?
Drop your shoulders, squeeze your shoulder blades backwards & downwards, sit up tall, take a deep breath in and imagine you’re trying to fill up every inch of your lungs
3. Work near a mirror. Sometimes, we are not even aware that we are slouching until someone tells us or we see our reflection. Working near a mirror can give you that visual feedback you need to correct your slouch.
4. Lie on your back on a yoga mat. Lying on a firm surface and allowing our bodies to sprawl out can be very relaxing and therapeutic after sitting for the majority of the day. This also takes off a lot of pressure from the spine.
The above four strategies don't have to be lengthy or complicated, just try your best to be consistent!
Physiotherapists can help by providing you with stretching and strengthening regimes that can be done from the comfort of your home. For those of you already struggling with the painful symptoms of slouching, Physiotherapy treatments can help reduce the muscle imbalances and overall tension.
Contact Wellness for the Body to book your free physiotherapy consultation today!