Updated: Nov 23, 2020
If you’ve spent the greater part of this year propped up on the sofa with a laptop, or hunched over the dining room table, it’s not unlikely that your posture hasn’t paid some price for this new, less-than-ideal setup.
With most work from home ‘offices’ rarely conforming to the same ergonomic standards as purpose-built workplaces, it’s not surprising that maintaining the upright posture which our spine needs, has proved more than a little challenging.
Add to this, the fact that we’re spending LONGER working each day (49 minutes longer according to the National Bureau of Economic Research) and that our activity levels have probably reduced overall, and it’s a recipe for slouch-central if ever there was one.
As a result of all this prolonged hunching, muscles can become tense, and everything from circulation, to digestion and breathing can be undermined, resulting in aches, pains and fatigue, to name but a few.
As for the solution, beyond investing in an appropriate chair with good back support to help keep your spine in a neutral position, it is to vary your work position often, and move around regularly.
Regular stretching and consciously pulling the shoulders back, can all help towards remedying a slouching habit, as can a little ‘thoracic mobility’ using a kitchen broom.
Simply by placing broom across the shoulders, or under your shoulder blades, and rotating your torso slowly right and left (holding for 2-3 seconds each side) ten times, you can create a gentle stretch to help reset some of the bad posture habits we might fall into throughout the course of the day.
As with everything, however, consistency is key, so try latching this exercise onto another regular ritual (eg. while you wait for the kettle to boil.) This way, you can harness the cumulative benefits of regular posture-correction, without venturing outside your usual daily routine.
⚠️ You should feel a nice stretch when you do this exercise. Never perform if it causes pain. Always seek medical advice before starting any new exercise regime.