Self-isolation and social distancing can mean a lot of sitting. That can mean you’re hovering over your tablet or smartphone trying to stay entertained, connected, or abreast of the evolving news surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
But all that sitting and hovering can pull your posture out of whack. Before long, you might notice back pain flaring up, or discomfort in your hips or knees.
Aside from making a little more effort to get up and take breaks from sitting, there are few things you can do to keep your posture strong and limit the risk for back and joint pain.
Here are some things to think about and implement into your daily self-isolation routine:
Visualization: When you’re standing, it can be useful to think about how your body is positioned. Good posture means creating a straight line from head to ankle. Ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles should align vertically.
Standing Straight: Imagine that there is a cord pulling your head up and stretching your body. Keeping your pelvis level and keeping your lower back from swaying, pull your chest up and shoulders back. Try to increase the distance between your rib cage and pelvis.
Shoulder Pull: Sit up straight in a chair with hands on thighs. With shoulders down and chin level, slowly pull shoulders back and squeeze shoulder blades together. Hold for around five seconds, then relax. Do it four times.
Chest Stretch: Stand facing a corner with arms raised and hands flat against the wall. Elbows should be at shoulder height. Place one foot ahead of the other and bend the front knee. Lean body toward the corner, keeping head and chest up and back straight. Hold for 20–30 seconds.
These are a few strategies that can help promote better postures to fight joint pain. Perform daily and do your best to spend as much time on your feet—with your head facing forward—as you can.
Mohan Garikiparithi holds a degree in medicine from Osmania University (University of Health Sciences). He practiced clinical medicine for over a decade. During a three-year communications program in Germany, he developed an interest in German medicine (homeopathy) and other alternative systems of medicine. This article was originally published on Bel Marra Health.