How to look after your posture at home
Sit up straight & get clued up
Whilst you’re reading this, you’re probably slumped over your laptop or curled over your phone. Did you just straighten up a little? Don’t worry, we all do it. But poor posture over time can affect your spine, shoulders, hips, and knees.
We, as humans, are built to move around – not stare at a screen all day. Yes, many of our day jobs revolve around a laptop or desktop computer, but there’s still things we can (and should) do to help keep our joints and muscles happy.
What does posture mean?
Posture, put simply, is the position of your body when you’re standing or sitting. Good posture is more than just standing up straight. It’s all about making sure you’re using your core muscles to hold your body in the right way to help prevent pain, injuries, and other health problems. Whether you’re moving or you’re still, poor posture can lead to tension and pain in your neck, back and shoulders (ouch!).
With many of us working from home at the mo, we’ve all found new places to settle down for our nine to five. Maybe your dining table now doubles as your DIY desk, or you find yourself sliding over to the sofa after lunchtime. Without the office chair you’re used to, or the luxury of double screens you may have back at work, you may be feeling a bit achy, to say the least.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, there are plenty of things that you can do every day at home to help improve your posture. Fix up, look sharp. We’ll show you how.
Stand up for yourself
If you’re sat down a lot during the day, reminding yourself to regularly stand up is one of the simplest ways to help your posture out. After sitting for long periods of time you’ll find yourself settled into a position which will have you hunched and slouched over. Give yourself breaks throughout the day to step away from where you’re working and walk around. Whenever you’re standing, remember to straighten your body and stand tall. Keep your shoulders back, and your head high. Looking good!
Shake off the slump
Laptops are amazing for allowing us to work more flexibly, but they’ve also been blamed for causing people back, neck and shoulder problems. Let’s be real, we’re all guilty of slouching over our computer and phone screens – but it’s a big posture no-no. When you’re sat in front of a screen, try to sit all the way back in your chair, with your knees at a right angle and place your feet flat on the floor. If you can, use a separate keyboard and mouse so your laptop can be put on a stand with your screen positioned at eye level. Take five minutes every now and then to stretch your arms above your head, and roll your head slowly up and down and then from side to side.
Find your zen
When you're stressed, your breathing patterns change, which can cause strain and tension in your muscles. Your shoulders hunch up and cause pain throughout the upper and middle back. Creating a zen working space at home can help you feel more relaxed. If you can, set up for the day in a different room to where you sleep. Get rid of all the clutter in front of you and surround yourself with things that make you happy. Play your favourite playlist and maybe light your favourite candle* while you reply to your emails. Whenever you feel your daily stress levels rising, try correcting your posture and do some deep breathing exercises to help you relax. In and out, in and out…
Your daily posture progress means nothing if you’re not getting the support you need when you hit the hay. Your pillow and mattress are super important to help hold your body in a comfortable position during the night. If you’re waking up with neck and back pain, it could be time to swap old for new. The best pillow for you is one that feels comfortable to rest your head on and supports your neck and shoulders. Both your pillow and mattress should keep their shape and give you constant support throughout the night.
Get into good posture habits before the aching starts. Over time, the more you practice, the more you’ll find yourself stretching your muscles and sitting up straight without even thinking about it. Posture perfected!
*Never leave a burning candle unattended.