“Some of my patients have told me that they are not as well equipped to work from home as compared to their workstation at the office. Some even admit to working from their beds! So, is there an ideal posture to work from the comfort of our home?”
When we are sitting, there is no such thing as the perfect posture, however an ideal posture can be maintained to reduce stress on our joints. This position may limit pains that can develop as a result of a poor posture. For the posture described below, we recommend sitting in a chair with an adjustable backrest and armrests as well as working in front of a monitor and keyboard at the appropriate desk height. You should avoid working from your bed. Here are 4 things we need to keep in mind when working seated:or
In order to be comfortable and to reduce the stress on our lumbar spine, we should have our feet flat on the ground. If the chair is too high, the legs put a strain on the lower back. If the chair doesn’t adjust, you always have the option of putting a small bench under your feet.
We all have a tendency to work with our backs hunched over while leaning forward. However being in this position for a long period of time increases the stress on the lower back and may cause pain over time. We recommend that you be seated on your “sit bones” (bones under your buttocks) and be pushed back in the chair as far as possible. Your spine can also be supported by the back of the chair, as this support decreases the effort required to sit up straight. Sitting on our “sit bones” is the basis of a good seated posture and it also promotes good position for your legs and neck.
We often talk about back pain, but shoulder or neck pain caused by poor posture should not be overlooked. Your elbows should be supported by the armrests of your chair or be on your desk. Ideally, there should be a 90-degree angle at the elbow in order to be in a relaxed position (not too high, not too low).
The last element to consider is to properly position your neck. Don’t let your chin go forward. The neck should be in its resting position, which is with the eyes horizontal to the desk and the chin slightly tucked in. To achieve this position, the computer screen must be positioned at eye level. If the screen is positioned too low, we tend to move our chin forward.
If you would like to have an idea of how you can improve your seated posture, here are some exercises that can help to improve the strength and the mobility of the back
Despite the tips, I am still in pain. What should I do?
If you feel like you need additional help, whether it is for advice or for an evaluation, we are here for you! Book an appointment at our clinic with a physiotherapist. It would be our pleasure to help ease your back pain.
Despite the exercises, I am having trouble holding a proper posture during telework. What should I do?
It is normal not to be able to hold or tolerate a seated position for more than 8 hours a day. Taking breaks, varying your posture, and doing the exercises are highly recommended. We can also provide you with a lumbar roll. It can be placed between your chair and the lower back in order to decrease the rounded back posture from prolonged sitting. It can be used at work or in the car to keep good posture and ease your back pain.
I am not sure if physiotherapy can help me. What can I do?
It is normal to have questions when trying something new. We now offer the possibility to schedule a free orientation callwith a physiotherapist to help you decide if physiotherapy is right for you!