Maintaining good posture makes a physical and mental difference for those working from home, according…
Maintaining good posture makes a physical and mental difference for those working from home, according to Kristie Petree, DO ’13, osteopathic manipulative medicine site director at PCOM South Georgia.
She advises remote workers to set up a proper work station instead of working from a couch or bed.
“Slouching all day burns more energy, puts your body under more stress, and by the end of the day can lead to you being really stiff, sore and tired,” Dr. Petree says. Incorrect posture can cause headaches, neck pain, back pain and stiffness, something she sees quite often as a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.
She advises, “To check your posture, sit where you are. Place your hands on your hips and roll your hips forward. Now you should be sitting on your “sit bones” with a small arch forming in your low back. Take a big deep breath and let your shoulders relax. It should be nice and easy to take a breath.”
When working on a computer, she says to keep your feet flat on the ground with your elbows down at your side and arms straight to the keyboard. Wrists should be flat, not flexed, and the computer monitor should be placed at eye level or lower.
She advises patients to keep their posture in check by setting up an ergonomic workstation, ideally at a desk or table. “While you may have easy access to a standing desk at work, that’s often not the case at home. If choosing to stand, you still have to assume proper posture. That includes not bending the knees, shifting to one side or rolling the hips.”
According to Dr. Petree, it’s best to switch every hour from seated to standing as poor posture really takes a toll when you’re seated for lengths of time. “Take a break if you need it. Video chat with friends and family during breaks. Find personal interaction where you can. That’s part of keeping yourself well during these times.”
Overall, Dr. Petree stresses the importance of being gentle with yourself. “We’re in unprecedented times,” she said.
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) established PCOM South Georgia in Moultrie, Georgia, in 2019. The campus offers a four-year medical program leading to the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree.