There have been a few catchphrases that have arisen during the pandemic, one of them being “pandemic posture.” It refers to the posture derived from slouching at a desk or in your favorite sofa/chair.
2020 and 2021, for many, have been marked by sitting. Sitting on the sofa in front of the TV or at their home work station. None of that is particularly good for your body and it has led to increased levels of back and neck pain, according to experts.
Slouching, or poor posture, can lead to back and neck pain in several ways. It can increase the risk for muscle spasms and fatigue, put increased pressure on certain joints, produce an imbalance on one side of your body to bear an extra load, or lead to nerve irritation.
So, what can you do about it?
Exercise every day will almost definitely help. A well-rounded routine including a warm-up, aerobic exercise, resistance exercise (weight training), cool down, and stretching is the best plan. Stretching after exercise, instead of before, is the best way to prevent injury.
Exercise helps keep joints and muscles loose and limber, strong, flexible, and less likely to become painful.
You can also pay attention to posture while sitting and standing. When sitting, try to keep your head straight and your ears aligned with your neck, shoulders, and hips. You’re your shoulders back and eyes looking ahead – this may require setting up a better home workspace.
When standing, keep your shoulders back and aim for a straight line through your ears, neck, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles.
Increasing activity levels also helps. Set timers to remind you to get up and move around, while also avoid holding the same seated position for too long. The more active you are, the less likely pandemic posture pain will affect you.