Five Tips to Move while Working from Home

Five Tips to Move while Working from Home

Your body was not made to stay in the same position for hours on end.  In order to decrease stiffness and promote cardiovascular health, you want to frequently move during the day.

Here are five steps you can take to regularly change positions while remaining productive at home.

1. Regularly Stand

Try to stand up every one to two hours.  Take a few moments to think about your opportunities to stand.  Maybe you have a standing desk or suitable height countertop. Perhaps you can take phone calls in standing by using a headset, placing the office phone on speaker, or walking while using your cell phone. 

Additionally, you might want to try taking stretch breaks in standing.  Finally, you can also try walking away from your desk to sit in another area during lunch. Sometimes, just walking a few feet breaks up that sitting routine.

Feel free to use any of these ideas or think about your schedule to determine when you can stand while remaining productive.  

2. Adjust the Backrest Angle

You should try to keep your back flush against the backrest. However, this does not mean you cannot move. While flush against the backrest, you should alternate, every hour, the backrest angle between a 90 (upright) to 110 degrees (slightly reclined).

Some chairs do not come with this feature. Check your chair to see if the backrest can recline. 

3. Regularly Stretch

Regular exercise can help decrease stiffness. Whether for the back, shoulders, quads, or even the wrist, there are tons of stretches out there. You could try to extend your back, perform shoulder shrugs, or stretch your hamstrings.

Try stretching as tolerated. We don’t want to experience pain or discomfort with the stretches. One stretch that I will often recommend is the neck tilt. For the neck tilt.

  1. Look straight ahead in standing
  2. Keep left hand behind your back 
  3. Tilt your neck to the right

You can also try the neck tilt for the left side.  

  1. Look straight ahead in standing
  2. Keep your right hand behind back
  3. Tilt your neck to the left

4. Regularly Perform Eye Stretches

At times, it’s important to get your eyes away from the monitor.  You might want to try the 20:20:20 rule. People who perform the 20:20:20 rule will look away from their computer every 20 minutes to stare at an object about 20 feet away, for 20 seconds.

With the 20:20:20, you can relax your eyes and focus on different objects at a different distance than your monitor. Additionally, you can also perform the 20:20:20 rule while simultaneously stretching your neck. 

If you can and without pain, face the monitor and simply rotate your head to the right or left, away from the monitor. Hold that position while performing the 20:20:20 rule. Rotate the head to the other side and again look at a surface 20 feet away for 20 seconds. 

It’s tough to stretch every 20 minutes, especially for those people who are burdened with computer work. If every 20 minutes is tough for you, try stretching every 40 minutes or every hour. The trick is to start somewhere and stretch your eyes as often as you can. 

5. Use an Adjustable Footrest

With many footrests, you can easily adjust your knee angle.  Try placing the footrest directly below your feet to maintain that 90-degree knee angle.  After an hour in this position, you can place the footrest a few inches forward to adjust your knee to a 110-degree angle. 

When computer users alternate between 90 and 110-degree angles, they decrease lower extremity stiffness and promote more movement throughout the day. 

We tend to sit at our computers for hours on end. Believing we cannot change positions while working from home, we infrequently move. However, we can move and still remain productive. Try stretching your bodies and eyes. 

Move your knees with an adjustable footrest, stand during telephone calls, and adjust the backrest angle. We each have different schedules and duties, especially during this crazy time of COVID-19 and social distancing. 

You might not be able to try each of these tips exactly as described. However, feel free to edit them for your personal schedule.

Shaul Lent

Shaul Lent

Lead Ergonomic Specialist at Ergonomics Advance
Shaul is Certified Ergonomic Assessment Specialist and Occupational Therapist trained at the University of Southern California. He takes pride in his attention to detail when recommending ergonomic products, developing injury prevention plans, and designing ergonomically sound workstations. He provides individual ergonomic assessments for employees reporting discomfort at their computer workstation. His unique talent to promote health and wellness in the workplace is recognized by customers and colleagues alike.
Shaul Lent

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6 Comments

  1. Prashasti Patel says:

    Absolutely correct. It’s actually not only for work from home people. Office workers must do this every day.

    Good Share!

  2. Nancy Anderson says:

    Hey, i really like your ideas and i follow your all instructions,thanks for sharing nice blog.

  3. Neha Jella says:

    These instructions are very helpful during this global pandemic.

  4. Parisha says:

    Such a important and helpful article during this current situation. Thanks you for sharing these tips.

  5. Oven Fresh Cake says:

    Fabulous information! Thank You!!

  6. Rijhu says:

    Hello,

    Excellent post.

    Thank you for sharing such an important and much-needed post. It is not important only for those who are doing their work from home actually it is useful and important for everyone.

    Regards,
    Rijhu

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