How to Improve Posture Working from Home


Working from home is convenient, but it can take a toll on your posture.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, thousands of people shifted their workplace from the office to the home. Years later, the work-from-home trend continues, with Pew Research finding that 35% of U.S. workers now work exclusively from their residences.

Working from home offers many benefits, such as the absence of a long commute, but you may not be aware of the toll it can take on your posture. While handling emails and taking calls from the dining room table, sofa, or recliner may be convenient and even comfortable at first, your posture can worsen if left unchecked, leading to pain and other orthopedic issues. Here’s how to improve your posture while working from home.

The consequences of poor posture

Poor posture affects more than just your appearance. When you don’t sit or stand up correctly, it can cause various musculoskeletal problems, including:

Back, neck, and shoulder pain. The natural position of your spine includes curves at the neck, middle back, and lower back. When those curves are misaligned, like when you slouch at your desk, your spine, neck, and shoulder will ache from the extra tension.

Less flexibility. Over time, holding your body in a rigid, unnatural position will stiffen your muscles and joints, making you less flexible and simple physical tasks harder to perform.

Poor balance. Your posture keeps your body in balance, but when your posture is out of alignment, you can easily lose your balance. When that happens, there’s a higher risk of falling and potentially breaking a bone.

Five ways to improve your posture while working from home

No need to rush back to the office — instead, make these five adjustments to better your posture in your in-home workplace.

  1. Invest in the right office chair and desk. Leave the kitchen table for dining and the recliner for relaxing; those will never be proper office equipment. Rather, build your office setup around ergonomic principles, or the study of how work environments affect your productivity and musculoskeletal system. Invest in a good office chair that supports your lumbar spine and a desk that keeps your eyes level with the computer. Another option is a desk that gives you the option of working sitting or standing.
  2. Consider how you sit. Stop the slouch! Bending over your desk wreaks havoc on your spine. Every now and then, do a posture check: ensure your shoulders are rolled back, your head is facing forward (not down), and your back is straight. For optimal lower back support, make sure you sit close to the desk with your upper arms parallel to your spine. Your hands, wrists, and forearms should be in alignment and parallel to the floor, and your elbows should bend at a 90-degree angle. The chair you use should comfortably support your hips and thighs, both of which should be kept parallel to the floor. Keep your knees at the same height as your hips and your feet slightly forward. 
  3. Consider how you stand. Your standing posture is important, too. Keep your legs, torso, neck, and head in alignment with your head level. Pull your shoulders back and your stomach in. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart with your weight centered mostly on the balls of your feet. 
  4. Take breaks. Want to keep your spine healthy? Take frequent breaks during your workday. One of the advantages of working from home is being able to step away when you need to. Walk around your home or outside to loosen stiff muscles as often as you can.
  5. Stretch. Stretching is a great way to keep your muscles limber and improve your posture. With its emphasis on breathing and posture, yoga is a great practice to adopt to maintain a healthy spine. Exercises that strengthen your core, back, and pelvic muscles are good, too. You can even perform simple stretches at your desk to keep the blood flowing and your muscles and back loose.

The goal should be to move around as often as you can and to keep your spine in proper alignment — your back and neck will thank you for it.

Have pain? Maybe it’s your posture

Your posture affects every part of your body. So if you’re having back or neck pain, your posture could be to blame. As a leading sports medicine center, New York Bone & Joint Specialists has treated all types of orthopedic pain. We’ll diagnose your ailment to determine if it’s related to your posture and develop a treatment plan. Contact us today for a consultation.

Book an appointment

Our Locations