Updated: Nov 20
Your phone rings, AGAIN— except this time it’s not your favorite spam caller, spouse or your boss…it’s your body!
"Yes, it’s your body and I called to say that these repetitive movement patterns & long hours of sedentary positions you have me in for 8+ hours a day is really starting to wear on me and frankly, I’m over it."
You already knew this because you feel it every single day. Whether you work from home or go into an office, you likely are spending 8-10 hours a day sitting as someone who working on a computer. The nature of the work is inevitable, I am in the same boat with you as most all of my work is fully remote! So I too, rely on my computer and being behind the screen for hours on end.
This repetitive sedentary movements within your day to day work life can really start to catch up with you sooner than you think & your body is the one at the expense. I’m going to share with you 5 easy, cost effective hacks that will improve core strength, posture and productivity at work.
1. Sub your chair for a stability ball
This little hack goes a long way! Sitting on a ball actually decreases the built up tension from sitting on the low back, reliving pain, while simultaneously increasing core engagement & improved posture. By sitting on the stability ball, you’re now calling on your intrinsic core stabilizers to perform their function— stabilizing the body to keep you upright (balanced) on the ball. The imbalance of the ball creates an environment of proprioception, the body’s adaptation & awareness to the presence of instability. This also forces you to be more cognizant of contracting your core & maintaining an upright posture to ensure you don’t fall sideways into the wall of your office or maybe in your case— into your dining room table. When using a stability ball as a chair, you’ll want to make sure that it is a large enough size (for comfort) based your height. Here is where you can grab a stability ball based on your height for under $30!
2. [Makeshift] standing desk
You can get fancy or you can get fancy like ‘Applebees on a date night’🍎 Grab a combo of your largest and smallest books and toss them on your kitchen counter, island, dresser or regular desk with your laptop on top and get in some standing hours in your day to break up the sedentary position. If you’re seeking to not break the bank with a standing desk or the one you really want keeps getting denied by the man, save up each week to go for the goal. In the meantime, get comfortable with the bronze that truly does just as well when it comes to encouraging more standing and less sitting throughout your day.
3. [Actual] standing desk
If you’re seeking a moderately price, less space impacting standing desk, this is one I have for my laptop and a few beverages and it works wonderfully! Whether you’re tight on space or cash, this desk on Amazon checks both of these boxes if you are a WFHer or you go into the office a few days a week & don’t have a standing desk available to you there. It’s remote powered so no needing to put your entire bodyweight into your desk just to get it down like those air compressed types. Big fan!
4. Ergonomic setup
Whether sitting or standing, make sure your desk is set up economically based on your head and elbow positioning to the screen and keyboard respectively. For your arm positioning, you want to ensure that your arm is bent at 90 degrees with your elbow in line with your desk. As you’re typing, your wrists should be in a neutral position resting on the laptop, keyboard or desk and not falling downwards at an angle. For your head positioning, you want to ensure your vision is straight ahead when looking at your screen(s) and you don’t need to tilt the head up or down to be able to go about your business. Roll those shoulders blades down and back & you’re set up for (body) functional success!
5. Foam pad
This is a bonus, but also a must have for me when standing for comfort + the foot roller is pure heaven! This pad actually keeps me standing more throughout the day! You can find a variety of different types, but I love this one because of the elevation along the edges. Mid-stand, if I am feeling like I need to shake my legs out or get in a quick stretch, I can stretch out the calves by elevated the toes on the pad while the heels sink down towards the floor (not on the pad). The pad creates an elevation for you to work with to get in a better calf stretch without even having to move. Next, the roller in the middle is a must for me. Sometimes it’s the need to fidget the body and others its to release some stiffness in the feet.
Desk set up key recommendations:
If you’re going with subbing the stability ball:
I would encourage you to set yourself up for success to actually use the ball over the chair, everyday. So when you wrap up your work day — whether at home or leaving the office — set your ball under your desk. This keeps it insight and top of mind to use and be able to easily reach for when you walk in the next day.
If you’re going with a standing desk:
Same rules apply. Position your desk to your standing height when you leave/wrap up your work day, every day. So when you walk into work, the first thing you see is your desk in this standing position, promoting you to stand to kick off your day,
If you’re going for the gold:
sub stability ball for a chair + standing desk— let’s just say you’re on a path to a pain free work day, improved posture & increased core balance and stability.
Access all the items we discussed today & more on my Amazon recommendations list that covers everything from the kitchen to the gym to the office.
If you loved this post, heart it and share it with your work bestie so they can improve their health too!