Video meetings have become the new normal, even more so during this period where so many of us are working from home.
But spending hours a day hunched over your screen on Zoom or Teams can be tiring and have a negative impact on your focus, productivity and your back.
Have you finished a long call and found yourself needing to get up and straighten your back?
Let’s look at some techniques we can use to help you stay focused, productive and keep your back feeling great no matter how many meetings you have on your laptop.
What are the effects of poor posture on your video meeting?
During video meetings on your laptop you might find yourself:
- Leaning in to listen carefully to hear people
- Leaning in to see more clearly
- Feel yourself losing focus
- Getting tired 💤
The risk of slouching during a video call
Slouching can lead to muscle ache, eventually back pain. Difficulty with balance and less effiecent breathing which reduces energy levels.
When we sit or stand in sub-optimal positions we can experience feelings of negativity, but when we are more upright we feel more positive.
This can be worse when we’re working from home unless you’ve got a well adjusted office chair and a well set up workstation our seating position over a laptop can default to a slouch.
Meetings and video calls are more productive (and fun) if you’re feeling more positive.
How can you keep better posture while your on calls
If you have a scheduled call be prepared. Have a quick stretch before you start. You might be in the same position for a while. Try a gentle stretch of your neck, arms, wrists and shoulders.
Make sure you’ve got water on hand so you can stay hydrated. Some video meetings are long! Getting dehydrated will likely have a negative effect on your energy and as you get tired it’s more likely you’ll start to slouch.
Being aware of your posture and when it might be starting to get worse is important. Many of us are so used to getting into a hunched position over the computer we don’t even notice. Stick a post it note where you can see it ‘Sit Up’ or even ‘Posture’ just as a friendly prompt.
If you’re anything like me you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a list of your actions as soon as the meeting ends. But before you’re tempted to start ticking things off your to do list. Give your body a break. Stand up and move, make a drink and have a quick walk around, even if it’s just round the room.
If you need an extra reminder try one of our active posture reminders, like the posture T-shirt or posture feminine. Both of which you can wear under your work clothes so you’ll enjoy an instant posture boost without other participants on your video meeting knowing you’re wearing them.
NHS advice is that more short breaks from you sitting position can be more beneficial than fewer longer ones.
"Don't sit in the same position for too long. Make sure you change your posture as often as is practicable. Frequent short breaks are better for your back than fewer long ones. It gives the muscles a chance to relax while others take the strain.”
If you’ve got a bit more time to look after your posture, try these posture exercises from the NHS website.