It’s crucial to master how to improve your posture while you’re working from home, especially since nobody will be around to call you out on your poor posture. Your work-from-home ergonomics (an ergonomic workstation) plays a role in improving your posture, but you also need to be cognizant of your posture. Poor posture among remote workers is incredibly common, and is often referred to as ‘tech neck’. This is the head-down, neck bent, shoulders forward, slouching position that many remote workers remain in while looking down at their laptops.
Unfortunately, many people who work from home have the freedom to work from their couch if they feel like it. Instead of sitting at their desk, people often sit in a slouched position on their couch, with their laptop. They’ll work with very poor posture, and even if they sit at a desk while working, those with poor posture often still have poor posture at their desk.
There are many health benefits of good posture, and many reasons why you should seek to learn how to improve your posture. Once you decide to improve your posture, you’ll be improving your health more and more the better your posture gets.
If you want to know what good posture feels like, sit up straight with your shoulders back and your chin up. Imagine there is a string pulling your head and spine up towards the ceiling. Or, stand up straight and balance a book on your head. See how good your posture must be for that book not to fall.
Benefits of Having Good Posture While Working Remotely
The benefits of sitting up straighter and having good posture while you work include:
- better breathing and circulation
- more energy throughout the day due to better oxygen supply
- a decrease in back and body pain
- better digestion, more oxygen delivered to your brain
- less mental fatigue
- improved productivity and mental alertness
Additional benefits of good posture include having a stronger core (as sitting straight helps strengthen and engage the core muscles) and you’ll have stronger back muscles. Furthermore, by maintaining correct posture, you’re burning more calories throughout the day, appearing more confident and looking more professional.
Slouching definitely looks both unattractive and unprofessional, but that’s only one of many reasons why you should sit up straight. Sitting up straight relieves pressure from your back and spine, dramatically reducing the risk of strain and injury.
Now that you’re aware of some of the benefits of having good posture, you’re probably motivated to learn how to improve your posture. Below are 7 ways to improve your posture while working from home:
1. Set Up an Ergonomic Workstation to Improve Your Posture
When you work from home, it can sometimes be a bit pricey to buy the things you need to set up an ergonomic workstation. However, it’s an investment in your health. So, what do you need? In order to improve your posture, you’ll need an ergonomic workstation that facilitates correct posture to be maintained. This includes an adjustable, ergonomic chair, a desk that’s adjustable in height, and a computer monitor that is raised and adjusted to the correct height. Your monitor stand should raise your laptop or computer monitor to eye level. Your keyboard and mouse must be placed in the proper position.
The best adjustable desks for good posture are stand-up desks that can be lowered into sitting desks. While sitting, your desk can be adjusted to a height that allows you to keep your head straight, looking at your computer at eye level, instead of looking downwards. While standing at your desk and working, your posture naturally improves and you’re less likely to slouch while working at a standing desk.
2. Take Breaks to Stretch, Walk, and Stand
In general, it’s not good for your body to remain in the same position for a prolonged period of time. Switching up your body’s position throughout the day (for example by standing at a standing desk, stretching, or going for a walk ) is much better for your body than sitting all day.
When you do sit, sitting on the right type of office chair helps your posture. Ergonomic office chairs that are fully adjustable with good lumbar support are worth the investment in your physical health and well being. You can find them used if you’re on a tight budget.
When working from home, set reminders on your phone with alerts that remind you to get up and stretch. Roll your shoulders, stretch your neck, and look up how to properly stretch on YouTube if you aren’t sure. You can also set reminders on your phone to check your posture. “Posture check” reminders help you stay mindful of your posture.
3. Strengthen Your Core to Improve Your Posture
Regularly doing core-strengthening exercises will help you develop a strong core, which facilitates your ability to hold the correct posture. Strong core muscles are required for sitting up straight and holding yourself in good posture. Get into the habit of going to the gym or working on strengthening your core at home. Sit-ups are good to routinely practice, as well as planking daily. Both can be done at home. The plank is an exercise that not only strengthens your core but also teaches your body stabilization. Your stabilizer muscles help keep you upright and help you maintain good posture. If you routinely practice posture-improving exercises, it’ll be easier to hold good posture all day long.
Weak core muscles from lack of strength training, on the other hand, are a big reason why many people slouch and have bad posture.
4. Maintaining Good Posture While Using a Laptop
Is it possible to maintain correct posture while using a laptop, or do you need actual computer monitors at a desk? You can have good posture even if you’re working on a laptop at home. Many people who work from home just use a laptop, and they often don’t have an ergonomic workstation set up at their home yet. If you don’t have an ergonomic set-up at home yet, and you’re stuck using a laptop, there are still ways to keep your posture in check.
Sometimes, you can DIY ergonomics until you get the right equipment and accessories to set up an ergonomic workstation that will improve your posture. To DIY it, use books or a ream of paper as a laptop stand to raise your laptop to eye level. All you need is a separate keyboard and mouse (there are plenty of inexpensive options available on Amazon) to connect to your laptop so that you can type while keeping your screen at eye level. Even if you aren’t sitting in an ergonomic chair, you can still sit up straight with your shoulders back instead of hunching over while you use your laptop.
6. Posture-Correcting Smartphone Apps
There are various mobile smartphone apps that help you improve your posture. There is a mobile app called UPRIGHT GO which you can download onto your smartphone, and it will keep tabs on your posture throughout the day. The UPRIGHT GO device pairs with the UPRIGHT GO app. The small device attaches to your upper-back via a hypoallergenic, medical-grade adhesive sticker. Whenever you slouch at your desk or revert to bad posture, the device will gently vibrate on your back to alert you to check your posture. The app will help train you to improve your posture, and it will also give you feedback on how good or bad your posture was that day.
7. Wear a Posture Corrector
A posture corrector is a wearable device to help you improve your posture while you work from home. For example, there are some posture-correcting devices you can buy that have a reinforced criss-cross back that gently pulls your shoulders back while supporting your back.
There are also posture-correcting, compression t-shirts that can be worn underneath work attire for both men and women. A fitted, posture-correcting neuroband shirt helps improve posture because the shirt’s compression and tension panels activate specific muscle groups to help keep your positioning more upright.
On Amazon, you can find many posture correctors, including posture-correcting bras for women and posture-correcting shirts for men.
Preventative Measures for the Sake of Your Health
The above 7 tips for improving your posture are examples of preventative measures you can take to watch out for your long-term health. After all, standing, walking, sleeping and sitting with good posture will help prevent certain health conditions.
Another measure you can take to help prevent health issues is taking a premium DNA test such as CircleDNA, and reading your comprehensive health report. CircleDNA informs you of your genetic strengths and weaknesses, as well as your genetic risks for certain health conditions, which arms you with the knowledge you need to improve your health.