Working from home can have its benefits — a little more schedule flexibility, a 2-second commute, a stocked fridge (hopefully), and wearing sweatpants is acceptable work attire. However, the luxury of working from your couch or your kitchen table can have some drawbacks.
When natural moments where you stand and walk around diminish, like to and from meetings, and your living room furniture becomes work spaces, working from home can take a toll on your body, especially your posture.
When it comes to your fitness routine, posture can be easily overlooked. However, it is the foundation of living a healthy, pain-free, and active life.
If you neglect your posture, you could run into a multitude of issues including:
- Increased risk of injury
- Chronic neck and back pain
- Poor circulation and varicose veins
- Poor digestion
- Constrictive and eventually pinched nerves (ouch!)
- Headaches and jaw pain
Luckily, we’re here to guide you through some simple and extremely effective ways to improve and maintain good posture!
5 Ways to Improve Your Posture When Working From Home
#1 Set up Your Workspace Ergonomically
Working from your couch or kitchen table can seem like a treat, but they have potentially lifelong consequences. Having a designated workspace set up specifically for your natural posture is necessary for improving your posture.
How to do it? Here’s a step by step guide.
#1 Find your natural posture sitting on a chair where your feet are planted on the ground, hands in lap, shoulders relaxed.
#2 From your natural posture, position your mouse and keyboard, so your arms bend below a 90-degree angle.
#3 If you can, situate your keyboard with a negative tilt, where the back is slightly lifted higher than the front.
#4 Set up your screen at the perfect distance. Hold out your arm — your screen should sit at the tips of your fingers.
#5 Place your monitor, so your natural gaze meets the address bar in your browser window.
#6 When you sit down, make sure there’s a space the size of your fist between the edge of the chair and the back of your knees.
#2 Stand up Every 60 Minutes (at least)
Standing up to take a walk either from your desk to AT LEAST your kitchen/bathroom every 60 minutes (minimum) will help improve your circulation and kick your heart rate up a bit. Better yet, take a 15-minute walk around the block, do 20 burpees, or a quick and effective short FitOn workout from the Quick Hits category in your app like:
5-minute Awesome Abs
Get your heart rate elevated and abs engaged with Bree Kroegel when you only have a few minutes to spare.
11-minute Bodyweight Blast
A full-body workout with Kenta Seki that requires zero equipment to get your blood moving and muscles working.
13-minute Tabata Toner
Want to sweat? This super quick total body burnout with Breann Mitchell will have you burning more calories for upwards of 24-hours after you finish!
#3 Stretch, A Lot
Make stretch breaks a natural part of your workday to lengthen and release your muscles, especially the ones that sitting and typing can shorten, like your chest and hip flexors. You can make it part of your hourly stand up breaks or find a couple times throughout the day to do any of these effective routines from the Stretch category in your FitOn app:
4-minute Quick Work Stretch with Elise Joan
This is the perfect quick stretch to do at your desk.
9-minute Yogi Stretch with Elise Joan
A Yoga flow created to help alleviate tension and decompress the spine.
13-minute Feel Good Stretch with Danielle Pascente
A little longer stretch when you need to release tension any time of day.
#4 Strengthen The Muscles That Support Your Posture
To maintain proper posture, your back, hip, and core muscles need to be strong. Exercises like bent over rows, planks, lunges, squats, and reverse dumbbell flyes are great for strengthening and toning these muscle groups. These FitOn workouts also take the guesswork out of conditioning your postural muscles:
23-minute Hard Core with Caroline Pearce
This no-equipment workout challenges and taxes your core from all angles and the other supporting postural muscles (like your glutes and back) with exercises like plank taps, glute bridge steps, side plank hip-lifts, and flutter kicks.
15-minute Muscle Maker with Kenta Seki
Strengthen and tone your postural muscles with exercises like bent over rows, dynamic biceps curls, and renegade rows. This full-body “pull” workout focuses on your back, biceps, glutes, and hamstrings
19-minute Ballet Barre Body with Sydney Benner
Dancers are known for their beautiful postures. This total body workout focuses on ballet-inspired strength training to help you stand tall and tone your muscles from head-to-toe.
#5 Become Mindful of Your Posture
The only way to improve your posture is to be mindful of it. If you find yourself habitually slouching or holding tension in your shoulders, put a special object on your desk or set an alarm on your phone to remind you to check in on your posture.
Posture = Absolute Health
There’s no way to sugarcoat the dire effects neglecting your posture can have on your overall health and wellbeing. However, these simple daily habits will not only prevent ailments that come with poor posture, they will also help you feel more energized and focused during your workday and get gratifying deeper sleep at the end of it all.