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6 Posture Mistakes to Avoid While Working in Your Home Office

16 November 2023

Over the last few years, work dynamics have changed significantly. Flexible work setup is the new norm now, which encourages employees to have a hybrid work schedule. Today, an increasing number of employees with desk jobs are allowed to work from the comfort of their homes and be at the office as and when required. While this work arrangement emerged as a necessity during the pandemic, where everyone was encouraged to stay at home and work from home, it is now a norm. And almost all employees with a desk job today have the flexibility to opt for a hybrid work arrangement.

Given that the home office setup has been here for over two years now, it's likely that most home offices no longer revolve around couches. However, it is still expected that many individuals with a desk job may be making some pretty bad posture mistakes.

If you have transitioned from a conventional workspace to a home office setup, let's not forget that how you set up your home office space can significantly impact your posture. From a poor desk to the inappropriate placement of your workplace essentials such as your keyboard, mouse and monitor can lead to severe stress on your spine and impact every significant muscle group in your body.

Not using the most appropriate office furniture or not using it correctly can impact your body more than most individuals realize. Hence, sharing posture mistakes that you might be making while working at home is critical.

Here are six posture mistakes to avoid while you are working in your home office.



#1. Not Moving Enough

According to experts, the most common posture mistake you may be making while working at your home office is not moving enough.

While working from home can be challenging as you have to deal with the day-to-day distractions at home while you are working, it is unusually common for employees with a desk job to stay in the same position for a long time. Since human bodies are meant to move, leaving them immobile for a long can affect all major muscle groups, including your core, back, and leg muscles. Over time, you are more likely to develop musculoskeletal concerns as persistent position often leads to muscle spasms and strains. Untreated spasms and muscle strain are one of the leading causes of spinal problems such as herniated discs and disc bulges, and spinal stenosis.

While it is a common posture mistake, you can conveniently fix it by incorporating movement into your schedule. Even when you are working at home, ensure that you change your position every 30 minutes. Changing your position could mean taking a quick walk, or you can simply do a few stretches while you are still at your desk. Changing your position will enhance blood circulation in your body and help you deal with pain and discomfort associated with prolonged sitting.

#2. The Placement of Your Computer Accessories is Not Appropriate

It is common for individuals with a desk job to experience misalignment in the placement of computer accessories. Inappropriately aligned computer accessories such as your monitor, keyboard, and mouse can lead to strained neck and shoulder muscles. Moreover, it can also strain your eyes, leading to headaches and associated discomfort.

Whether it's your monitor, keyboard, or your mouse, it's best to ensure that your computer accessories are aligned appropriately so you can avoid straining your neck, shoulders, and eye muscles. Moreover, your head should also be in line with your body. If your head is twisted and your feet are pointing towards your monitor, it can contribute to the soreness of your neck and shoulder muscles. Furthermore, your keyboard should be placed at a height that allows you to bend your elbow at an angle of 90-degree or slightly below it.



#3. Keeping Wrists and Elbows Bent For Too Long

One of the many home office posture mistakes, resting your wrists on the desk as you type, makes a common problem. Leaving your hands resting on your desk can lead to over-flexing of your wrist and elbow muscles. Moreover, it also strains your joints and nerves; if not taken care of, this problem can lead to numbness and tingling in the fingers. In some cases, the untreated numbness and tingling sensation in your hands can lead to long-term issues like carpal tunnel syndrome and cubital tunnel syndrome, which are common repetitive stress injuries associated with a desk job.

One of the best ways to deal with this problem is to support your arm with the armrest of your ergonomic office chair or use a cushion to support your arm and your wrist.

#4. Not Using Core Muscles

The core muscles of your body play an integral role in supporting your spine. Moreover, core muscles also help balance forces to and from the lower and upper body. With a strong and stable core, you can prevent back injuries, aches, and pains and perform at your best.

However, a common posture mistake is that most individuals with desk jobs allow their bellies to push forward as they work. Moreover, they also allow their lower back to slouch backward while sitting. Both these positions do not engage your core muscles. Hence, your spine doesn't get appropriate support. Over time, lack of use of the core muscles can weaken your core, which can contribute to lower backache and other common spine problems such as herniated discs and spinal stenosis.

A convenient way to avoid this problem is to focus on pulling your belly button inwards towards your spine enough to engage your lower core muscles. It's one of the best ways to improve your core muscle strength and reduce the risk of several problems associated with your spine.



#5. Using a Couch or Kitchen Stool for Work

Despite spending over two years in the home office setup, many employees with desk jobs still resort to couch or kitchen stool. While curling up on the couch may seem comfortable, the position can be detrimental for your posture. Since it causes you to crane your neck, bend your legs beneath your body and cause you to adopt awkward with your laptop or tablet in your lap, the position is not appropriate for long periods of time as it leads to neck and back pain.

Dealing with this common positional problem is relatively simple. If you still haven't invested in an ergonomic office chair and rely on your couch or kitchen stool for work, now is the time to do so. An ergonomic office chair allows you to maintain a balanced body position where you don't have to hunch or slouch, reducing straining on your spine and all major muscle groups.

But given the overwhelming choice of ergonomic office chairs available on the market, it's never easy to choose the right one for your home office. If you are struggling with selecting a reliable, ergonomic office chair for your home office, we recommend investing in C5. The mesh ergonomic office chair featuring a 3D lumbar support system, ultimate breathable mesh, and cushioned 4D armrest makes an excellent chair for your home office. Find out more about C5 here.

#6. Not Stretching Enough

As we discuss the common posture mistakes of employees with a desk job at home, let's not forget that the human body is designed to keep moving. Letting your body be in a stationary position can lead to mild problems like aches and pains but can also contribute to more severe health conditions. Over time, persistent aches and pains can have a negative impact on your overall quality of life.

Stretching serves as a great way to move your body, prevent muscle strains and aches and strengthen your core. If you are standing or sitting in the same position for too long, add in a few stretches multiple times during the day and feel good while boosting your productivity and the quality of your output.

If you are not sure which stretches to try, here's a list for you to get started.

Neck rotations,

Shoulder rolls,

Spinal twist,

Chest stretch, and

Squats.

Incorporate these or other stretches several times during the day and avoid the negative impacts of a sedentary lifestyle on your body.

Final Words

Working from home may offer you some comfort, but it also makes you more prone to making some posture mistakes that can cost you a lot in terms of your health. Beware of these six posture mistakes and avoid them at all costs to stay healthy and happy while you enjoy working from home.