Train your posture

Train your posture - Dr Rob Brennan Nov17th 2020

By Dr. Robert Brennan

Working from home has become the new normal since the global pandemic, and we’ve found creative ways to get our work done. I am sure many of you can relate. You are probably working from your kitchen table, computer desk, living room couch, laying down, or even on the backyard patio to soak up some sun. It was comfortable at first, but after some time you started to notice it becoming hard to sit from using a computer for an extended period of time. You were either feeling soreness, tightness, spasms, tingling, or throbbing in parts of your body. If so, did you know this is actually caused by poor sitting posture?

Most of us don’t have a designated computer station ergonomically designed to fit our body’s needs. It’s important to protect your musculoskeletal health while working at home. How do we do that? There’s a correct way to sit and set up your computer to avoid increased stress and strain on your body. Incorrect sitting or computer set up can cause pain in your neck, back, legs, feet, shoulders, elbows, wrist, and hands. 

The best sitting position depends on your height, type of chair, and the activity you are doing while sitting. Here are some tips you can use to improve your posture:

  • You can achieve a proper sitting posture by keeping your feet flat or resting them on either the floor or on a footrest. 
  • Avoid crossing your knees or ankles. 
  • Position your hips and knees at a 90-degree angle and place your ankles in front of your knees. 

How about while using a computer? 

  • When typing, hold your elbows to your sides at a 90-degree angle compared to your wrists. 
  • It’s important to make sure your wrists are not bent upward or down when typing and are kept level. 
  • Place the top line of the monitor at or slightly (0-30 degrees) below eye level. 
  • Keep your back against the back of the chair avoiding the shoulders to round forward.

Avoid sitting in one position for long periods of time, ideally taking a 10-15 minute break for every hour you are sitting. Deviations from the things listed above can cause undue stress on your body. There are support items you can use to help maintain these proper alignments including footrests, wrist pads, lumbar support padding, standing desks, ergonomic keyboards and mouses, headsets, etc.  

Your posture can be evaluated by a physical therapist who can formulate a custom plan for you. A physical therapist can help not only to reduce the pain and discomfort you are feeling in your injured area but also to teach and help you design a proper chair and computer setup. Book your appointment for a free assessment of your posture.