Working from home
The advice that I give my "working from home" clients applies to anyone, including school kids, who are stuck in front of a computer for much of the day. You gotta move whenever you get the chance, and mix up the positions that your body is in. Our bodies feel and function best with regular movement, throughout the day.
Here are some tips for a happier “working from home” body.
“Ramp” your head. Instead of craning your head forward when you look at the computer screen, keep your head back, in line with the rest of your body, supported by gravity. To do this, simply bring the back of your head back and lift through the crown of your head. You may feel a nice stretch along the back of your neck and into your upper back. This is also a good way to improve your overall posture and counteract the time we spend looking down at phones etc.
Set a timer for regular breaks. Stretch and walk around for a few minutes. Stretching your arms overhead is a great move. We spend so much time with our arms down at our sides or out in front and rarely move our arms overhead. Try reaching up to the top of the door frame everytime you walk through a doorway. If you can reach the top of the door frame, try “hanging” by your fingers for a great shoulder stretch and hand strengthener.
Give your eye muscles a movement break. Look out the window into the far distance. This will move your eye muscles into a different shape, giving them a break from close up focusing. Also, you can make circles with your eyes or look up, down, and side to side.
Switch up your workstation. If you have a laptop, set it up on a box to make a standing desk, or work at your kitchen counter for a while. Try mousing with your nondominant hand. And let’s not forget the benefits of floor sitting. Set your computer on a low table and sit on the floor. You can bolster yourself with cushions or folded blankets to make yourself comfortable. You will be improving your hip flexibility and your core strength.
Try an "active sitting" chair. More like a stool than a chair, they encourage core muscle engagement, better posture, and continual micromovements through a wobble seat and/or base.
Below are a couple of ideas for alternative workstations.
Whatever you do, variety is key. A while ago I read an article written by an office worker, who was complaining that his new standing desk was not alleviating the discomfort he had when he sat all day. Seems like he missed the point. He had swapped out one static position - sitting all day, for another - standing all day. It’s all about movement!
See my Resources page for some great books and online resources to inspire you to move more of yourself more often!