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If there is one thing this generation suffers from, it is poor posture. Take a look around you and observe keenly the people around your environment. You would see people with poor sitting, standing and walking postures.

In your work place, you would have noticed people hunched over their seats, with their backs bent.

You’re probably currently sitting at your desk reading this, blissfully unaware of your posture right now—and that’s perfectly normal. It can be difficult to always be mindful of your posture, especially during a hectic workday through hours of Zoom meetings and conference calls.

Your posture is a very important indicator of your overall health, as it supports blood flow, improves your mood, increases your confidence, and strengthens your other muscles and joints. Practicing better posture while at your desk at work or at home, even in the smallest ways, is a great way to be mindful of your health on a daily basis.

Here are a few quick ways you can improve your posture as you go along your workday.

1. Switch up your seating

Your seating can make or break your posture—literally. Seating with little to no back support, worn-out chairs, and working from your couch or bed could wear on your body over time, straining your shoulders, spine, and lower back.

If your desk chair doesn’t have the support you need to sit comfortably and in an upright position for an hour or two at a time, you may need to switch up your seating.

A good, ergonomic chair for your workspace will have lumbar support to help the middle of your back, where most of the tension goes when you’re hunched over your desk. You also want to pick a chair that keeps your body at a neutral, upright position with an adequate seat height that keeps your arms and legs leveled and a backrest that isn’t too firm or too soft.

If you’re now working from home, make sure to be mindful of where and how you’re sitting. Set up your own workspace with a desk and chair that supports your back and shoulders and promotes better posture over time.

As much as you can, avoid working from your bed. Your spine will thank you.

2. Take frequent stretch breaks

It’s easy to get wrapped up in your workday and forget to move, so set an alert on your work calendar or on your phone as a regular reminder to take a break and switch up your posture by taking a walk, standing briefly in between meetings, stretching, or getting a quick exercise in.

Spending hours upon hours every day in a seated position where your back is either slouched or hunched over is detrimental to your posture. Many health professionals have declared that sitting has now become the new smoking, a popular myth that compares the negative chronic health effects of both, such as weight gain and diabetes.

Prolonged sitting can have long-lasting effects on not only your back but also on your overall health.

Make it a priority to get up and move around on a regular basis throughout your workday to give your body some relief from sitting and staring at a screen all day. Put yourself on a daily schedule to get some time away from the desk so you can give your back a break from sitting in an upright position, putting more pressure on your spine.

3. Exercise for better posture

When we exercise, we often forget to exercise for better posture, especially as working from home becomes more prevalent. Your posture is key to better overall health, and taking time to focus on it during your workday can help prevent lifelong body issues.

Exercising throughout the workday for better posture can be as simple as standing upright for an hour or two at a time at your desk, stretching and rotating your neck to relieve some of the tension from hours of working, or getting a good back bend at the waist to loosen up that lower back.

Give yourself a few small breaks during the workday to work out those kinks in your shoulders, neck, and back from sitting too long, and focus on exercises specifically for those areas.

4. Keep your workspace eye level

Hunching over your desk to look at your laptop or to type is one of the key indicators of poor posture. If your laptop or desktop computer isn’t eye level, it makes it easy to slouch and get stuck working that way for hours.

Do an overall assessment of your workspace, including your laptop, your monitor, your desk, and your computer accessories like your keyboard and mouse to make sure they are level to your eyesight and body to ensure that you’re not straining your neck, shoulders, and back to use your devices.

Your workspace should be at a comfortable level but upright enough where your posture isn’t compromised. Switch up the positioning of your workspace so that it’s easier to sit upright while still being effective throughout the day. If you work remotely or from home, find a better place to set up your workspace like on a high bar-style countertop where you can easily sit in an upright position, or even stand and work for a change of pace.

5. Be intentions about your sitting posture

Taking the time to connect with your body every so often throughout the day to see how it feels can seem like another item for your to-do list, but your back will definitely thank you for it!

Practice being mindful of your posture throughout the workday by setting frequent reminders on your phone to check in with your body.

Use this mindfulness to be more aware of your posture on a daily basis and when you place the most tension on your back. Do you find that your posture suffers during long Zoom meetings? Are you sitting for more than two to three hours at a time in the mornings or afternoons? Take note daily of all of your workspace habits and how it impacts your posture and your overall body. This will help you anticipate and be more mindful of your posture during the most stressful times of your day and prepare to change it up.

6. Keep your feet flat on the floor

Your feet and their position while at your desk play a crucial role in your overall posture while sitting. If your feet are crossed or elevated, that could compromise your posture, as your weight is primarily on one leg or your back is taking the brunt of it. When your feet are flat on the floor and properly leveled, the weight of your body is evenly distributed across your hips. Keeping your feet flat on the floor also makes you more mindful of the overall stance of your body, as it unconsciously makes you straighten up.

Practice keeping your feet fully on the floor for longer periods of time instead of elevating them using a footrest or crossing your legs at the knees underneath your desk. Planting your feet on the ground will help you be more aware of your posture and if you’re slouched or hunched over your desk.

Your posture is a key indicator of your body’s health during your workday. Don’t ignore any signs of back or shoulder pain; make it a point to take care of yourself while working, starting with your posture

Which of these tips do you find helpful?
Which of these tips would you start practicing today?

What other useful tip would you like to add? Please share with us in the comment box below.

The current health crisis has already altered many facets of everyday life. Entertainment, transportation, and education are all accommodating the realities of the new normal. That is especially true for businesses and companies. The commercial sector is experiencing radical changes. Thanks to its resilience and digital technology, a new working paradigm has emerged.

As of June 2020, as many as 42 percent of working adults in the United States are using work-from-home arrangements. Although these set-ups will protect you and uphold social distancing protocols, they come with their own downsides. Namely, working from home can be a continual source of stress.

Sources of Stress Working from Home

As many as 83 percent of working Americans already experience work-related stress. Unless you’re looking forward to adrenal fatigue treatment, you’ll need to understand how working from home can be just as stressful as going to the office. Just because you’re working from, it doesn’t mean the sources of stress have disappeared, just that they’ve changed. Here are the most apparent causes of anxiety and stress when you’re working out of your home.

  • Lack of organization. Because you’re no longer in your office, you are essentially semiautonomous. Your distance from supervisors and coworkers could make it difficult to reach out to them, even with internet connectivity and messaging apps. The frustration of trying to reach coworkers and coordinate with teammates can drive your stress levels right up.
  • Too many distractions. Unlike the pristine and controlled environment of your office, your home can be chock-full of distractions. Your family can continuously barge in on you, neighbors could blast music, and pets can demand your attention. Your electronics, such as your phone and television, can also tempt you from focusing on your work.
  • Overwhelming responsibilities. When you’re working from home, your duties to your home and family don’t disappear. You could be suddenly needed to cook a meal, help with some chores, and other tasks. Juggling these responsibilities can be overwhelming and ramp up your stress.
  • Blurred boundaries. Without the mental framework provided by going to the office, you may have more problems maintaining your work-life balance. That can cause you to work too much and neglect your personal needs.

Managing Your Stress Efficiently

How do you deal with all this stress? You need to make your work-from-home arrangement for efficient and learn how to manage your stress. The following tips can help you create a less stressful environment.

Establish Your Own Space

The first thing you need to do is to establish a home office. Of course, this is much easier if you can set up an entire room with a door. However, if you don’t have the area for it, you need to create a designated nook. Make sure it’s comfortable and away from distracting areas such as noisy roads or your entertainment systems. Finally, discuss this space with your family or housemates. Make it clear that they aren’t to invade your workspace.

Stick to a Schedule

Unless you have flexible working hours, treat your workday usually. If your shift starts at nine in the morning, make sure you’re ready to work by then. If you get an hour for lunch at noon, use it to eat or relax, not to do extra work. And if your shift ends, make sure you log out by then. Sticking to a regular schedule prevents you from feeling overwhelmed by your responsibilities at home and in your job. Focus on your job during work hours and don’t bring them outside their allotted time.

Decrease Distractions

Although it’s not ideal to have a supervisor breathing down your neck, their presence does tend to decrease the temptation to engage in distracting activities. At home, you have to police yourself, and the best way to do that is by physically removing distractions. If you have a home office, install thick drapes on the windows to lower noise from outside. Move out any potentially distracting devices such as your television or gaming system from the room. Finally, put your phone on silent or vibrate and mute notifications from social media.

Say “No”

Maintaining your work-life balance is the most important tool you have in decreasing work from home stress. Just like how establishing a home office, sticking to a schedule, and removing distractions keep your home life outside your work, they should also keep it inside these spaces. Resist the urge to work when your shift is over, especially if there’s no pressing need for it. If a supervisor asks you to do so, learn to say no unless they have compelling evidence. Say no to logging in too early for your shift and certainly say no to sacrificing your weekends for non-emergency work situations.

Your mental and emotional health are just as important as your physical well-being. Working from home may protect the latter, but without efficient management, it could jeopardize the latter two. These suggestions will help you ensure you’re happy and healthy with every aspect of your life.

Balancing children and a full-fledged workload is not a walk in the park, especially during this period. It’s okay to occasionally treat yourself now and then to your favorite meal or a movie for your efforts. Most importantly, enjoy the process as you get to spend more time with the people that mean the most to you!

With schools closed around the country and most companies opting for remote work, keeping your kids engaged while you work can be a daunting experience. For many parents, it’s a healthy mix of chaos, family time, stress, fighting, and bargaining with their partner on who will take which shift so the other can get some work done.

Although it won’t be easy in this period, this can also be an amazing time to bond with your kids and get to know them better. Most importantly, go easy on yourself. There’s no doubt this time is impossibly difficult, so doing your best is the best decision for everyone.

Here a few ways to  keep your children engaged while you work from home:

Create a schedule

I know you’re probably tired of hearing this but the truth is that kids do best when they have a structure,  so creating a daily schedule will make it easier for them to stay focused as well as hopefully provide periods of productivity for you too.

Schedule your work-time to align with the activities you plan for them. You can plan your zoom meeting and calls at the same time with their screen time, that way they will be too engrossed in what they are watching to disturb your meeting.

Also be sure to schedule ‘in time’, in which you are part of their day as well, for example, 12 pm -1 pm can be board games or lunch break with mummy. Your children will have something to look forward to each day and the mental break will be good for you, especially when you are dealing with a stressful situation at work.

Take your lead from the teachers

Most schools have introduced virtual classes as a means to make up for the lost time. You can take a look at your child’s scheduled classes for the week, this will help in knowing when they will be in class and when to schedule other activities to keep them busy while you work.

Create projects

You can create fun age-appropriate projects that will keep your kids engaged and entertained. Go to YouTube to check for age-appropriate DIY videos for your kids. An example can be building a city with cardboard boxes, pillows and blankets, and so on. Toymaking, art, and craft, or even painting projects. The good thing about this is that it not only keeps your kids busy, it helps in stimulating their minds, enhancing their motor skills and creativity.

If you can, plan the night before

Some days, you may just want to go to bed after a long day. That’s normal and perfectly fine. But if you can, try to plan the next day’s itinerary before you sleep. This is very important especially if you have an early morning meeting the next day. It’ll ensure your kids are happy and occupied, and not throwing a tantrum during that video conference with your CEO.

Spend time outside, if you can

If you live in a house with a big garden or backyard, allow your kids to go out and play. Vitamin D is great for our overall health, and going outside even for a few minutes each day gives children the space they need to roam. If your kids aren’t up to the age where they can play without supervision, you can take your laptop outside so you can keep a watchful eye on them.

Write letters to teachers, friends or grandparents 

You can keep your kids busy by channeling your son or daughter’s creativity toward letter writing or picture drawing. Let them write a letter to their friends in school or to their teacher or even to their grandparents while you get some work done. Not only will your child learn a lesson in compassion, but your relative will also receive a nice surprise to lift their spirits.

Assign ‘work’ to your kids

For the foreseeable future, when your kids ask you what you’re doing, you’ll likely say “working”. This word doesn’t always make sense to them, so a way to teach them is to assign tasks to them.  Give them puzzles to finish, LEGO lands to build, separate the bean seeds from the shaft, arrange the throw pillows in the sitting room. You can set a timer for an hour so they can work and then ask them to prepare a presentation afterward to show off their work.

Dance videos

Most kids can operate tablets and phones from younger ages. Set your child up with some music (that isn’t too loud to disturb your work), show them how to make a video (if they don’t already know how), provide props or dress-up clothes and have them take dance videos (or other silly videos) that they can share with you.

Designate an area for your ‘home office’

It is important to have a designated area (preferably a spare room) that will enable you to organize your files, stay on task, and minimize interruptions. Let your kids also know that this is mummy’s work area and teach them not to come to the work area while you’re working. It is important to follow a schedule even while working so if you work 9 -5, try to keep it at that with short breaks in between to check on the kids.

Balancing children and a full-fledged workload is not a walk in the park, especially during this period. It’s okay to occasionally treat yourself now and then to your favorite meal or a movie for your efforts. Most importantly, enjoy the process as you get to spend more time with the people that mean the most to you!

Have any tips to keep your kids busy while you work from home? Feel free to share.