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Does all that time on Zoom spell doom-and-gloom for your body?

Does all that time on Zoom spell doom-and-gloom for your body?

With much of the day’s business and meetings still happening virtually, chances are your body may be worse for the wear. In January, a Gallup poll found that 56% of U.S. workers were either “always” or “sometimes” working remotely. (That’s down from a high of 70% in April, but still much higher than the norm.) And many workplaces are still holding virtual meetings despite coming back into the office.

So what started as your makeshift workspace – or even your trusty office set-up -- is likely riddled with ergonomic mistakes that could lead to some aches and pains. Here are the top three tips to protect your body while you’re hard at work:


Working and meeting solely on-screen had many of us gunning for the most flattering camera angle, which unfortunately meant stacking laptops higher. But this chin-friendly angle is less than ideal for your body. Try to have your laptop camera around eye level – any lower and you’ll be more likely to hunch over. Another reason for poor posture while using a laptop is the keyboard. It’s tricky to have the keyboard near the edge of your desk, which is ideal. As a work-around, consider an external keyboard so you can type with a keyboard set in the right spot.


Get off the couch! Instead, look for a chair with adjustable height and lumbar support for starters. Your chair is the center of your workstation and the first thing that should be adjusted. The height of your chair should allow you to have your arms resting at your side and your elbows at a 90-degree angle while typing.

Also make sure to sit back all the way in the chair to take advantage of the back support and avoid perching on the edge of the seat. Most chairs allow for seat depth adjustments, you should have a 2-4 finger width between the back of your legs and the chair for optimum fit. If your feet don’t touch the ground once your chair is adjusted to the proper height a foot support is an easy remedy.

Or, consider a non-traditional chair like a kneeling chair, saddle chair, or even a yoga ball chair.

Get moving

Your body tends to get tired when you stay in the same positions for too long. In addition to periodic moving and stretching exercises, consider a standing desk. Standing desks are accessible even in lower price points and can really reduce and prevent back pain. Taking a quick “ergo break” to stretch and take your eyes off the screen every hour will keep you feeling loose and energized. Be sure to stretch your wrists, back and neck.