Are you slouching?
Working from home has increased since the advent of the internet, but with the pandemic, more people are working from home than ever. There are advantages as well as disadvantages to this. One of these disadvantages can come down to our workstation. At your workplace, you most likely have a designated area with a desk, office chair, and the like. That may not be the case at home. Most patients I have seen have reported working from the kitchen counter, table, couch, or bedroom. A lot of patients are reporting neck and back issues that were not present prior to their work from home setting. With this transition, I have a posture modification that can aid in keeping a good, neutral posture that doesn’t feel like a workout.
First thing to know is proper posture shouldn’t be forced. If it’s forced, then it isn’t proper.
If we use a low back roll properly, then proper posture should feel effortless. Similar to a show orthotic supporting the arch of the foot, a low back roll should support the curve of the spine. Not every spine is the same. We all have different lengths and curves, and these differences make the use of generic lumbar supports in chairs and seats less than sufficient. Therefore, using a lumbar roll is preferred because you can adjust it to make it thicker or thinner as needed. Therefore, my preference is a small towel. Everyone has a small towel. We can roll it up to whichever thickness works best for us, and it will not break down over time.
How to use a low back roll properly:
Step 1: Stay tall in the back and lean forward.
Step 2: While in this position, scoot back till you belt line is firm against the back of your seat.
Step 3: Place the low back roll just above your belt line.
Step 4: Lean back over the lumbar roll.
You should feel as though your stomach is being pushed forward because you have created and supported the natural lumbar curve in your low back. The key reason this is different than what you are used to is that you are starting with your low back placed firmly against the back of the seat first. If you want to test and feel the difference between proper and improper, try this. After following the steps above, scoot your hips forward on the seat not but one inch. What you will notice is that your back does not feel as good or supported and that is because you lost the curve in your low back.
This technique can be used in office chairs, kitchen chairs, car seats, and if you are sitting in something soft like a couch try using a throw pillow instead of a towel.
Follow these steps to improve your posture at work, at home, or both.