Lockdown special: Here's an essential guide of right postures for work-from-home routines
The COVID-19-driven lockdown has pushed the entire Indian professional workforce into working from home. Being relatively new to this telecommuting medium, most of us might not have the proper work-desk arrangements at home and putting in long hours in sub-optimal working conditions over a long period can have an impact on health. Poor postures while working on the laptop could cause musculoskeletal disorders like pain in the neck, back, shoulders, and other issues.
“We have developed a posture guide which stresses on the importance of incorporating the correct posture while working from a home-ofﬁce setup. The modern workers' needs are very different, and the home-office setup is becoming challenging. Utilise the time at home to take care of your health and build your natural immunity while maintaining your positive energy. Amidst the long hours of work, it is also crucial to keep an eye on your posture,” says Anil Mathur, COO of Godrej Interio.
Hence Godrej Interio has come up with a comprehensive guide to assist professionals with improving their efﬁciency and productivity. You can follow them while working from home to state off avoidable body aches and pains.
While sitting on a chair and desk
The chair that you invest in should have adjustable features like seat heights, armrest and backrest adjustments to ensure maximum comfort, also having excellent lumbar support that is adjustable to keep your back well supported.
· Adjust the height of your chair and rest your feet on the ﬂoor or the footrest. Bend your knees at 90 degrees to relieve the excess pressure out of your back
· Take proper lumbar support to keep your back straight
· Ensure your arms are always supported, either on the desk or the chair armrest - with elbows bent at 90 degrees while typing on the keyboard.
If you don’t have a chair with good back support, you should take breaks or change your posture after every 20 minutes
While standing & working
It’s also a good idea to stand and work to vary your work posture. You may use a storage cabinet as your standing workstation. The more regularly you change your posture, the better you will feel.
· Place your laptop on a hard surface. Adjust the height of your laptop screen such that the screen top is at your eye level
· Don’t slouch or lower your back
· Keep your laptop away from any kind of liquid to prevent spills
While sitting on the sofa or bed
Of course, working on the bed, sofa or the bean bag can be quite attractive. While it’s okay to use these for a short period, remember not to forget the basics of good posture.
· Place cushions behind your back to help you get the right support
· Place cardboard or a stand beneath the laptop to keep it steady
· Adjust the height of the laptop to keep the screen parallel to your eye level
· Avoid slouching or lowering your neck while working
Use Your Laptop Safely
It's natural to pick a comfortable spot while working on the laptop at home. Given that you will end up working for long hours, maintaining the correct posture becomes crucial. It is recommended that you opt for a laptop stand and set up your system in a way that the screen is raised to the height of your eyebrows. You should also use a wireless mouse and a keyboard, if possible, to keep the screen at your arm’s length while typing.
Working from home means there is a chance for you to become more sedentary. You no longer have to walk over to the conference room or take a post-lunch casual walk around the premises. While at home, ensure you take breaks to move around a bit. Try to walk around a bit while you are on the phone. Micro-breaks are great productivity boosters and also prevent you from staying seated all day.
Even if you can’t go to the gym, make sure you work out regularly, stretch your muscles, and keep yourself ﬁt and healthy at all times. It’s very important to get as much movement into your day as possible and avoid being sedentary. You can try some freehand exercises and stretches. Do crunches, push-ups, squats, and leg lifts in the morning to feel energetic throughout the day. Not only will it help you stay physically ﬁt but also increase your productivity by improving mental clarity and focus.
This exercise is a great way to relieve the tension in your neck
· Step 1: Raise your shoulders up to your ear
· Step 2: Hold for 10 seconds, and relax
· For an even bigger stretch, do it for just one shoulder at a time, and then alternate ﬁve times on each side.
· Step 1: Sit to the edge of your chair with your knees bent and feet on the ﬂoor
· Step 2: Gently extend your right leg out in front of you until it's straight and parallel to the ﬂoor
· Do the exercise ﬁve times on each leg.
· Step 3: Hold the pose for 10 seconds, release, and repeat with your other leg
· Step 1: While seated, place your hands on the armrest of your chair/sofa/bed and move your bottom to the front of your seat
· Step 2: Slowly straighten your arms and lift your body off the chair, then hold for 10 seconds. Relax and get back to the starting position