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Posture while working from home

Hi all! This week at Fletcher Chiropractic, we’re focusing on the difficult task of suddenly changing to working from home during the coronavirus outbreak. Most people do not have the appropriate ergonomic setup at home, especially with how suddenly the change occurred. Patients have been mentioning more aches and pains because they do not have the correct desk and/or chair to work from all day, and are having to resort to working at the kitchen table, couch, or even sometimes sitting on the floor. Today, I want to go through the most beneficial posture exercises that you can easily do at home with little to no equipment needed!

First, my all-time favorite—chin tucks. This exercise is fantastic for people who are sitting and looking at a computer most of the day, and they are very simple to do; just sit up straight, look straight ahead of you, and tuck your chin back as if you’re giving yourself a double chin (as I always say-it feels silly, but it works!). Hold for a one second count, and then relax back to your neutral position. Repeat for a total of ten repetitions. Side note-if you feel a headache coming on, these can help stave off the worst of it!

Second is the doorway stretch. I like doing these right after you do a set of ten chin tucks; you’ll really feel the difference in your posture after. You can do these by either standing in a free corner of the room you’re in, or in an open doorway. Put your arms out to your sides, elbows bent at 90 degrees, and gently lean into the doorway/corner until you feel a stretch along the front of your shoulders. Hold for fifteen seconds.

Moving on to the lower back, the next exercise is pelvic tilts. While sitting in a firm chair, sit up straight, and gently rock your hips back and forth. This is a good way to engage the muscles in the lower back that become stiff from being immobile for longer periods of time. This is a great exercise to do after you’ve been sitting for a long meeting and are about to stand up—it will reduce that feeling of tightness. Again, I would do ten repetitions total.

Finally, my favorite lower back/hip stretch. Once again sitting in a firm chair, cross one leg over the other in a figure-4 position (you will do this on both sides, so it doesn’t matter which side you start on), sit up straight, and gently lean forward. You’ll feel the stretch in your glutes going out onto the hip along the same side. Hold for fifteen seconds, then switch to the other side.

Performing all of these exercises/stretches three times daily will help reduce tension throughout your spine while improving your overall posture at the same time. If you’re having a hard time remembering to do them, either set a reminder on your phone, or put a post-it on your monitor to remind yourself. Cheers to healthier posture!!

-Dr. Brittany

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