Fitness

Create your active home office

Being stuck at home is no time to neglect your posture and balance. Follow these simple rules for improving your physical health while working from home.

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Let’s face it – all of us are fighting a losing battle against time and gravity. But it’s important to remember that you can decide how difficult you want to make it for these adversaries to defeat you. 

Paying attention to how you work is a key strategy in waging this war.

Because of the pandemic, many of us have been forced to work from home. Here are some life hacks to keep you strong and stable for the 8 hours plus a day that you are at your workspace.

1. Think elbows to eyeballs. This is the golden rule for achieving perfect posture at your computer. The distance from your elbows to your eyeballs should be the approximate distance of your keyboard to your monitor.

The close proximity of the keyboard to the screen makes laptops a huge no-no, but it’s all many of us have to work with. If that’s the case, think about getting an extended keyboard and then place your laptop on a milk crate our stack of books so that it is at eye level. This will help you keep your wrists straight while preventing you from slouching forward over your screen.

2. Stand-up! Accept that during the day, you’re going to want to move. Instead of shifting or fidgeting, make the decision to stand-up instead. You should stand-up at least every 30 minutes throughout the day and just…stand. Standing for at least one minute with good posture will allow your body to recalibrate. 

3. Find ways to move. If you have a job or health condition where you are absolutely required to stay seated, find ways to incorporate movement. Using sit cushions or an exercise ball will allow your pelvis and trunk to move rather than constantly moving your neck. This keeps your spinal movement in synergy with gravity.

4. Schedule standing/walking time. We often have it drummed into us to stop, take a break and go for a walk at lunch hour. But walking once a day and sitting the rest simply won’t cut it in the long run. It’s like trying to stay in shape by working one once a week for four hours and then sitting and watching tv the rest.

When it comes to walking, think frequency not distance. Pick a destination in your house – a hallway or window – and walk there as much as you can. Train yourself to stand-up every time your phone rings, or after you hit send on an email. If all else fails, set yourself an alarm to stand-up at least every 30 minutes throughout the day.

5. All desks are not created equal. If you make the decision to purchase a standing desk for your home office, make sure it has triple stack legs. This will ensure that whether your 4’5” or 6’5” you will be able to find a set-up that best fits your unique needs.

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