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Is your home office ruining your posture and mood?

Posture close up physiotherapist working with patient Hatfield Practice

Posture Affects Your Mood and Energy

Think for a moment about how you feel. How are you sitting, and are you comfortable? Could your home office be ruining your posture and lowering your mood? If you slump at the desk or workstation, you may, after a while, feel helpless and tired (laptop fatigue!) Try this short experiment for a minute! Imagine and move upright and then breathe deeply. You will probably feel energised and alive, then collapse ( not to the floor) into a slumped posture and immediately feel your mood change. You can improve your mood, health, and posture even after a few minutes of stretching. Mindfulness improves how you feel.

Over time, a few positive minor changes will profoundly affect your mood, well-being, and spine. You will almost certainly have less pain. Overall try to Walk a little more each day. Body weight, especially around the abdomen, pulls on the low back, allowing stomach muscles to disengage, overloading the low back, and pulling on neck muscles.

Did you know?

Ultimately, all employers have a statutory duty of care for their employees’ health and safety. They have a duty of care to provide you with a safe and comfortable workplace. Workplace safety also applies to working from home, with the right equipment to ensure you can work safely. Things like laptops and electronic devices are often supplied freely, although more importantly, a place to use them safely, like the correct desk and an ergonomic chair. Do you work?- Perhaps ask your employer for an ergonomic health check. Many provide helpful, high-quality professional advice on workstations. Again a few minor changes will go a long way. It’s often not the desk or chair; it’s how you sit in it.

Ultimately all employers have a statutory duty of care for their employees’ health and safety. They have a duty of care to provide you with a safe workplace. That also applies to working from home with the right equipment to ensure they can work safely. Things like laptops and electronic devices are often supplied; more important is a place to use them safely, like the correct desk and an ergonomic chair.

  • 80% of people experience low back pain throughout their lives
  • Lower back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide
  • 70% of us say we are experiencing more aches & pains since working from home

Are You Working from Home?

Is your home office ruining your posture? Due to the pandemic, more of us than ever are now working from home, and that’s terrible news for posture and back health. Poor posture can result from a poorly set up home office. Or perhaps from slouching due to tiredness, stress, or workload: poor posture can load pressure on the spine and irritate and stiffen joints and muscles. Whether working from home or returning to the office, maintaining a healthy posture can prevent back and neck pain to ensure we keep that all-important focus.

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Four tips for when you are sitting at the desk

1. Where are your Arms?

Keep your wrists relaxed and your mouse close enough that you don’t need to stretch to reach it. Your elbows should be at a 90-degree angle and aligned with your wrists. An office chair with carefully adjusted arms will help here.

2. How does your back feel when sitting?

Adjust your chair’s backrest height and tilt to support your lumbar area (lower back). > Tip: Roll up a towel and place it behind your lower back for additional support or purchase lumbar support from the Hatfield ~Practice reception.

3. Where are your Legs?

Adjust your chair height so that your thighs fit comfortably under the desk and are parallel to the floor. Your feet should fit comfortably on the floor; use a footrest if necessary.

4. Do you have the correct Eye line?

Adjust your screen’s distance and height. Ideally, the top of the monitor should be at eye level. > Tip: Stack your laptop on top of a few heavy books or purchase a stand from your local retailer.

7 Things you can do to improve posture

1. Take breaks

We’d recommend moving every 30 minutes as a minimum. Whether going for a walk during your lunch, refilling your water bottle, or a simple five-minute stretching exercise will help you in the long-term back health, boost concentration, and promote good health. Tip: Schedule a timer on your phone at regular intervals to remind you to move and keep hydrated

2. Whatever you do; don’t work on the sofa

Whatever you do, don’t work on your sofa; your sofa is designed for relaxing back with your feet up. Your sofa is the worst place for you to work. Not only will your posture go out the window, but the perception of comfort can send you to sleep and stop you from getting up and moving around. If you have to work on a sofa, place a couple of pillows behind you and perhaps set a 20-minute timer so that you remind yourself to get up and walk around.

 

3. Invest in your home office equipment

This doesn’t have to break the bank. Laptop stands, and home office chairs can be purchased for incredible prices across the web. Compare prices with multiple retailers, and be sure to check the reviews. Reach out to us via [email protected] for our personal favourites. Tip: Reach out to your employer and ask for help sourcing new equipment for you – your safety is paramount, and they will often pay!

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4. Listen to your body

Pay attention to pain. Protect your body. If you can feel pain, take that as a signal, and your set-up isn’t working for you. Call the Hatfield Practice if you’d like any advice or to discuss any pain you might be experiencing; please get in touch with our friendly team on 01707 888229

5. Get your eyes checked.

It’s vital to have your eyes examined – as your eyes change as you age, so will the mechanics of your body. Eyesight problems can affect the way you carry yourself. The spine or body adapts by changing shape and symmetry to help improve your visual fields and special senses.

6. Are you sleeping well?

Find the perfect mattress for you. A good quality mattress will support your spine. A flexible body is more likely to relax and sleep well. Give your body time to adjust. Get your posture sorted.

7. Pilates or yoga

Just 5 minutes a day. Only 3 or 4 little flexibility exercises daily help keep you flexible and improve balance. Don’t rush. Give the stretches time to work on your posture. Do work gently and gradually. The momentum of Pilates will slowly enhance your confidence and posture. Being stronger brings confidence and helps to support proper posture. There is lots of inspiration on Meta and Instagram.

 

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