While working from home certainly has its benefits, over a year of sitting at our cramped desks has left many of us with poor posture and painful back pain.
"Pandemic posture," as it's been called, is a widespread condition that has afflicted millions working from home for the last year. With our commute mainly consisting of the bedroom to the living room, the restricted movement has left many of us physically crippled and in pain.
Glamour referred to "pandemic posture" as a secondary "epidemic" that has arisen in the last year. If slouching in front of your computer is how you spend your days, then it's important to take note of how to improve your posture and strengthen your back before you get hurt.
Hunching over a computer puts pressure on your spine, your shoulders, and your neck, which if left untreated can lead to circulation issues or even arthritis. If your back pain has you worried, here are five tips to help cure your pain and improve your posture in the process.
Get Rid of Your Desk Chair!
man sitting on yoga ball
If it's possible for you to invest in a standing desk, then do so, as standing desks have shown to significantly improve one's posture and circulation. But if that's out of your budget, swap out your office chair for a yoga ball. It not only will improve your posture and strengthen your core, but will also help you burn an additional 100 calories a day (if used correctly!).
Hit Some Squats!
Unless we're avid runners, it can be difficult to get a workout in. Gyms have sparser hours, and most of us don't have an in-house gym facility to help us stay in shape. With that said, taking 10-minute breaks throughout the day to hit some squats has been shown to be surprisingly beneficial, despite how little exercise it seems to be.
Not only do squats tone your butt and legs, but they also strengthen your back and core. They also help to improve your balance and posture, and they burn a surprising amount of calories in a day! As long as your posture is correct, hit them as often as you can! If you wanna really change your life, you can even get a squatting desk now!
Walk for 20 Minutes Every Day
Studies show that walking for at least 20 minutes a day reduces your risk of death by 30%. It can get rid of fatigue and improve energy levels and is a pretty safe way to socialize with others these days. Schedule a brisk walk either alone or with a friend to break up the day; it will add a nice aspect of routine that will keep you from going crazy, all while improving your health in the process!
Take the stairs!
Take the Stairs
Whether its in your building or safely in a friends, climbing stairs anywhere is one of the healthiest ways to spend your free time. The act of climbing stairs quickly burns fat as a result of your elevated heart rate, which sky rockets after just a few flights. So get out there, find a parking garage, and get climbing!
It may not seem like it's doing much, but stretching for just 10 minutes a day can significantly improve your posture and circulation. It greatly improves blood flow, thus reducing fatigue that comes halfway through a long day. It also helps with healing injuries and greatly improves your posture.