Sara Tanza PT, DPT is the VP of She.Is.Beautiful and a Doctor of Physical Therapy. She has a passion for helping people feel better in their bodies. Below she shares her top tips for staying healthy when working from home.
Who would have thought you would be spending the spring of 2020 ZOOM-ing away at your kitchen table or taking calls in your bedroom while Daniel Tiger blares for the thoulsanth hour that day? If you have joined the thousands of others working from home in the last month, you might be starting to feel aches and pains pop up from working in a less than ideal position. While this blog post is designed to give you ways to work from home that are more comfortable, my best advice is that you should change positions every 20 minutes or at least once an hour, as well as getting up to walk around every hour. I would also suggest adding in stretches that counteract the postures you have been sustaining, like the ones I show in this blog post . Now that I made that clear, here are some ways to set up your workstation that you have not thought of:
This position allows for the front of one hip to be elongated (stretching your hip flexors on that side) and the back of the other hip to be elongated (stretching the muscles in the back of your hip on the other side). I recommend switching sides to “even” yourself out. Also, it is a good idea to have several boxes (I used kid’s board games) to boost your laptop up, so the top of your screen is at eye level.
Yes, mermaid stretch. Think Ariel on the rock in The Little Mermaid. This position allows for you to stretch one hip in one direction in should be able to rotate in (external rotation) and the other hip into another direction it should be able to rotate in (internal rotation). Again, I recommend switching sides!
Standing at a counter:
So this is clearly not another way to “sit” and a lot of people are already incorporating standing desks, but we rarely discuss HOW to stand. We want to think of our bodies as if they are blocks (the head, ribcage, pelvis and feet all being blocks) and stack all the blocks up evenly. One of my mentors developed the Saliba Postural Classifcation System to talk about all the ways we stand that AREN’T efficient (if you want to further nerd out on what these postures might look like, see this article for some great pictures and descriptions).
Some simple tips to make your standing more efficient are the following:
1.) Stack your ribcage over your pelvis: Many people stand with their ribcage leaning back BEHIND your pelvis. If your not sure how you are standing, take a picture from the side and make adjustments from there
2.) Let your low belly and butt RELAX: When you get all your bones stacked up, you should not have to do excessive muscular work to “hold” yourself there. When you are gripping excessively with those muscles, it can throw the rest of your posture off.
3.) Center your weight over your whole foot: Shift your weight forward and find the ball of your foot. Rock back and find your heels. Now, center yourself between your heels and the balls of your feet.
Hope you learned something new today that you can take into your #WFH life. We want to see how you are working differently! Tag @runsheisbeautiful in your pictures to share.