The Best And Worst Places to Sit When Working from Home
Yes, we’re still talking about this.
Fact of the matter is, we’ve got 17 days left of the circuit breaker and we’re going to be working remotely for the near future. There is some chance that you occasionally meander from your makeshift desk i.e. your dining table, to your sofa, where you remain slouched, working for the rest of the day.
Keeping in mind the negative effects of bad posture and the musculoskeletal problems that come along with it, registered chiropractor Dr Neil Stakes M.Chiro (SA), from Back II Life tells us where we should, and shouldn’t, be sitting at when working from home.
Ideally, you'd have a customised, adjustable desk and an ergonomic chair. It's a pricey investment, so consider the more affordable option: a standing desk, which you could get for under $400.
“Spending less time sitting is best for your spine as well as overall health and wellbeing,” says Dr Stakes. “Standing means less pressure on your spine, as sitting loads your spine 2.5 times more than standing.”
However, if you have poor foot mechanics – fallen arches, flat feet or high arches – give the standing desk a miss. With the right setup, sitting in a straight-backed chair at your dining table is your next best bet.
Debatable: Using an Exercise Ball
While using an exercise ball in place of a chair helps engage your core and is certainly good for your muscles, fatigue will set in and you’ll hurt your back as a result of slouching. Dr Stakes instead reminds us to take regular breaks and walk around, which also boosts cardiovascular health and increases stress-busting endorphins.
Avoid: Sitting cross-legged on the floor at the coffee table
It’s tempting to do so as it seems comfortable, but it could lead to numbness and tingling in the feet due to pressure on the blood vessels around your bottom being stretched.
You know it – on the sofa or in bed, even with your back propped against pillows. “It’s bad for the neck and lumbar spine, as your spine is often C-shaped in both positions,” says Dr Stakes.
The takeaway? Reserve your bed for sleep, and a place for peace and calm.