Ruth Stone is a consultant PT at sweatband.com who says that lockdown has played a role in the decreasing quality of our posture. “We all thought (that lockdown) would be for a short time and many people actually made a point of including their usual – if not more than usual – exercise in their day. But as the situation continued, the weather got worse, the novelty of home working became the norm and the good habits slipped away, people are now moving less and sitting in poor positions for longer.”
This is a common habit – particularly in females – which causes the pelvis to tilt, the hips to tighten and the spine to misalign, as well as leading to shoulder issues. Additionally, those that do it tend to favour one side, with the long-term effects of this resulting in poor posture and even injury. To correct this, sit with a cushion between your legs to ensure they remain uncrossed every day – the cushion will prevent you from forgetting and slipping back to old habits.
Keyboard, mouse and screen in the wrong place
The dining table is not an ergonomic office desk, so the chances are your posture is compromised somewhat when you work there. Every morning set yourself up, sit in your best posture directly in front or your computer and ensure you can type, look at the screen and manipulate your mouse without collapsing the spine, dropping the chin, twisting the torso or stretching your shoulder. You may need to balance your laptop on a book or position your screen at a different angle to achieve this – but it will be well worth the effort.
Taking your laptop to bed
Aside from making the common mistake of rezoning a room that should be entirely for relaxing, sitting propped up in bed with your laptop will do absolutely nothing for your core. You may feel comfy and cosy, but you’re supporting your spine in a collapsed position which, over time, will weaken your core strength.
Holding your mobile phone for long periods
Since meeting face to face is no longer an option, more calls are being made and are lasting a longer time than ever before – and this is alongside the virtual video meetings that are taking place. When you’re on the phone, always use speaker mode and walk while you talk, regularly changing the hand you’re holding it with. If you need to take notes, put the speaker on, place the phone down and stand to write your notes.
Sitting for too long
Most employers know that committed employees who work from home tend to be more productive than when they’re in the office. And the fear of not delivering a high standard of work drives many to sit for longer periods than is actually good for the back and ultimately their business performance. Hourly movement breaks, coupled with walking and talking every time you’re on the phone, helps the spine release and the body and mind to both enjoy a welcome reset.