If you’re one of the millions of people who had to reconfigure their home into their workspace this year, you might have realized that it’s not as enjoyable as you thought it might be. Many people just had to make do with the materials that they had available such as dining room tables, beds instead of chairs and Zoom meetings from the couch with kids or pets in the background.
Although it might sound like working from one of these makeshift-home-office locations is more comfortable than sitting in your cube, improper seating especially with prolonged computer use can lead to poor posture and throw your body alignment out of whack.
The Effects of a Poorly Designed Workstation
A few years ago, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that musculoskeletal disorders and injuries accounted for 31% of workplace injuries. Even though it seems like you can’t get much safer than working at a desk for 8-hours a day, “sitting disease,” or chronic neck/back pain, is a serious issue among people who sit while they work.
Aside from simply sitting for long periods of time, there are a few key factors that play into the development of musculoskeletal disorders:
- Poor posture when sitting causes misalignment in the spine
- If your computer monitor is not at eye level, this will cause the neck and back to strain
- Hip misalignment occurs from crossing your legs – especially sitting “crisscross” – while working on a bed or couch.
- Sitting for long periods of time restricts blood flow to spinal discs
- Being in the seated position for too long puts pressure on your spinal discs, increasing wear and tear
Improving Body Alignment at Home
Luckily, although there are many factors working against body alignment when it comes to working from home, there are simple steps you can take to combat the effects!
- Use a standing desk – Using a desk that you can stand and work at helps to keep your hips aligned and flexible. It also promotes better posture because you cannot lean on your desk the way you would if you were seated. A standing desk also helps improve blood flow to your spinal discs and throughout your body
- Wear minimalist shoes – Conventionally designed shoes are restrictive and contort your feet into unnatural shapes. When you aren’t able to walk or stand completely naturally, everything in your body is thrown out of alignment from your neck to your spine, hips, knees, and ankles. Minimalist shoes allow your feet and joints to move freely to keep your body healthy and pain-free.
- Set reminders to get up and move – it’s easy to get stuck at your desk all day – especially if your “desk” is your bed! Set reminders every 30-minutes to an hour to get up and move your body for 5-10 minutes. Practice stretching your back and opening up your chest; get your hips moving and flexing, and make sure to relax your neck muscles and eyes.
Working from home and sitting for the majority of your day might not seem like “hard work” to everyone, but it can be seriously hard on your body if you don’t make an effort to keep your body in alignment. Check out our minimalist shoe collection and step into a healthier and happier body today!