Working on the laptop at the kitchen table is the new in-thing for all except key workers. So how do you look after your posture when working from home without that fancy set-up you had in the office?

New Video Series

This video is the first in a series focussed on home based self-care, to guard against the inevitable aches and pains associated with sitting in a rickety old chair at a laptop all day! Remember however, you can always have an online consultation if there are any niggles that just won’t go away! The transcript is below;

Postural Possibilities

So let’s talk posture when working from home.  This will be quick, slightly contentious but above all, based on the research and applicable immediately.

So what’s the perfect posture?  There isn’t one!  In fact the modern idea of good posture originates from the 19th century and is more closely linked with aristocratic societal snobbishness, developments in formal dancing and clothing fashion than to any actual health related considerations. 

Back to modern day.  So if there’s no such thing as the perfect posture, what about bad posture?  Possibly, but if so it is very individual.  Posture is only one of many hypothetical factors that contribute to pain problems, but in many cases it probably isn’t contributing at all. This is obvious from the simple observation that there are lots of people with nice posture in pain, and many people with lousy posture but no pain.

Large, high quality, collated studies show there is no link between hunched shoulders and shoulder or back pain.  Nor is there any correlation between text neck and neck pain. None.  It might also surprise you (given the vast industry surrounding it) that the level of evidence that ergonomic equipment actual works is really low and of poor quality.  And in the studies that do exist, exercise interventions produce better results for less cost…

What’s going on then?

So why do you get a sore back after a days work at the computer?  The most widely accepted explanation is that it’s the period of time you’ve held a single posture that is far more important than the posture itself.  So move!  Move frequently! Take your body through its full range. Enjoy that you can now sit in weird and wonderful positions and no-one is going to judge!  Except maybe your cat

There is no perfect way to sit, and we naturally migrate to the most comfortable position for us at any one time, so try out lots of different positions – fidget, get up to make a cuppa, set a timer to change position every 30 minutes.  Just remember, your best posture is the next posture…