Working from home: Exercises to improve your posture

Some basic movements at your desk to reduce shoulder, neck, and back pain.

Reading Time: 3 minutes


Even if we’ve left our offices behind to work from home during the pandemic, we still find ourselves sitting at our desks for eight-plus hours a day. Because of this, we often let good posture fall to the wayside.

If you find yourself experiencing neck, back, or shoulder pain, it’s a sign that you haven’t been taking good care of your body during this time. Here are some exercises that you can do at your desk that can assist in improving your posture.

Chest opener

Clasp your hands behind your back and stretch outwards, allowing your hands to move away from your back. At the same time, allow your chest to expand. Lift your neck up and hold this pose for 5 seconds, then relax. Repeat this 5-10 times. Many people hear their back lightly cracking while doing this and it is totally normal.

stretches to improve posture, back stretch

The Goalpost

While you are seated, lift your arms. Then, bend with your elbows to a 90-degree angle so that your arms are in an ‘L’ shape on both sides. Maintaining this position, relax your shoulders and move your arms backward to squeeze your shoulder blades and upper back. Repeat this movement 5-10 times.

Backwards namaste

While you are seated, place your palms on your back, with one palm behind each hip. From there, move your hands into a ‘namaste’ against your back. Hold this position for 5 seconds, then release. Allow your chest to expand so that your back can stretch. Continue this movement 4-5 times (slowly if it is initially difficult) to stretch your shoulders and arms.

stretches to improve posture. backwards namaste
Source: Canva

 The Tree

Lift your arms above your head and let your fingers interlock. Holding this position, first lean to your right, keeping your arms straight and not bending your elbows. You might feel some strain on your sides which is totally normal. Repeat the motion on your left side. Do this 3-5 times slowly, allowing your sides to properly stretch.

Reverse stretch

Stand with your arms loosely against your sides. Then, slowly lift them behind your back while not bending your elbows. Try to lift them as high as possible behind you while keeping your arms straight, allowing your back to curve (and crack if required). Then, bring them back to the original position. Do this 5-10 times.

stretches to improve posture
Source: Canva

Try to incorporate these stretches into your routine by performing them once before you begin your work day and once at the end of the day. When you have properly stretched, you’re likely to become aware of bad posture and will automatically keep your back straight while working.

READ ALSO: “Me Time” in quarantine

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Rhea L Nath
Rhea L Nath
Rhea L Nath is a writer and editor based in Sydney. In 2022, she was named Young Journalist of the Year at the NSW Premier's Multicultural Communications Awards.

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