by Dr. Emily Splichal, DPM MS
If the last two years has taught us anything, it has been that the once unimaginable Zoom conferences and virtual strategy meetings are now just another day "in the office". With each day feeling a little like ground hog's day, working from home is associated with different challenges that we must face to stay productive, comfortable, and motivated.
Speaking of office, have you stepped back to look and think about how your home office setting may be helping or hurting your postural alignment and productivity?
Since COVID, the number of standing desk sales has surged created a new type of ergonomic stress associated with working from home – prolonged standing!
Below are our top 4 postural resets to reduce pressure and stress to the feet, knees and lower which can be associated with prolonged standing. All are designed to be easily integrated throughout your day and keep you on track for your next conference call.
Postural Reset #1 – Foot Release
Did you know that prolonged standing is just as stressful on the body as prolonged sitting?
As we stand in one place, typing away on our Mac, we are putting constant stress onto the plantar fascia, Achilles tendon and calf muscles. In fact, prolonged standing is one of the biggest contributors to plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis.
To help reduce stress to these structures, integrate a 5 minute foot release for every 2 hours you are standing. Simply stand on a golf ball or Neuro Ball and feel the tension in the feet melt away.
Postural Reset #2 – Pelvic Rocks
Standing in one place puts excess pressure onto the pelvis and lower back as this is where our center of gravity is located. As our postural muscles start to fatigue the pelvis often rocks forward into an anterior tilted position, which compresses the lower back.
Integrating pelvic rocks throughout the day is a great way to gently stretch the muscles that surround the lower back as well as to wake up the stabilizing core muscles.
Perform 10 rocks for every hour you are standing.
Postural Reset #3 – Painting Rainbows
This is another great technique for reducing stress to the lower back as well as the upper spine or rib cage. Due to the integrated nature of our muscles and tissue in the body, stress from the feet can travel upward affecting our upper body as well.
Perform 10 rainbows every hour you are standing.
Postural Reset #4 – Quad Stretch
And finally, a postural reset would not be complete without opening up the front of our hips. This simple quad stretch can take pressure off of the lower back and allow the pelvis to sit in a more neutral position.
Hold each stretch for 30 seconds and perform every hour standing.