Bad posture, lack of movement, and being sedentary: the downsides of working from home.
How often did you wish to be able to stay home all day and work in your pajamas? Your dream may have come true, albeit not in the best way. Working from home because of social isolation protocols implies a series of difficulties that are perhaps even more complicated than those of going to the office.
In addition to diminishing socialization, which affects our mood, remote work leads to certain obvious ailments like back pain, due to the lack of ergonomic office equipment and the fact that we are not able to move for many hours while in front of the computer.
The first step to avoiding this kind of pain is getting a chair that meets your needs and setting up a workstation. Try to be at eye level with the screen and have your feet supported, and try to not lean over your desk. Here are some effective exercises and simple stretches you can do to improve your posture and relax your muscles, which are tired from stress and bad habits.
Pectoral Stretch and Spinal Movement
When you are writing for hours, your shoulders move into a forward position. You have to relax this zone of your body in order to avoid contractures. This is the same reason you also need to move your spine. Grab the back of your chair with both hands and sit forward. Once in this position, lift your chest forward and up, as far as you can, and then do the opposite motion, pushing your chest backwards and moving the spine along its full range.
Activating Your Shoulders and Upper Back ↓
This exercise is perfect for strengthening the scapular muscles, especially the lower trapezius, middle trapezius, rhomboids, and serratus major. Sit on your chair and place your palms on the wall at shoulder level. Once in this position, move your scapulae forward and then retract them; that is, bring them together. This is a great exercise for your upper back
Carpal Tunnel Stretch
A keyboard and mouse are the most damaging tools possible when it comes to carpal tunnel. Stretching is essential to releasing tension. Get comfortable in your chair and do these three movements: bring the palms of your hands and forearms together, and from this starting position, bring your joined hands towards the lower part of your sternum. The first movement starts at the head, the second from the lower part of the chair, and the third runs perpendicular to your sternum.
Hip Flexor Stretch
The goal of this exercise is to relax your hip flexors (quadriceps), the muscles that suffer the most when you are sitting down. Being at a 90-degree angle for hours every day is very difficult on us. Place one leg, supported by the knee, on the side edge of the chair, and move the other leg forward, making sure that the knee of that leg never moves past being in line with the foot. While maintaining this position, activate your glutes without arching your lumbar area, and slide the chair back until you feel the stretch in your quadriceps and iliopsoas.
Most of us have forward-leaning, lifted shoulders due to poor posture, which means that when we are seated in front of the computer working, our shoulders are in a hunched position most of the time. While seated in your chair, grab your head with one hand and tilt it to the opposite side, keeping your back completely straight the entire time.