Backpacks, not Back Pain: A Guide to Posture for Digital Nomads

How to keep your back healthy on the move.

Stark Raving


Photo by Alexandru Acea on Unsplash

Sometimes, I really hate being short. Like when I’m at a concert, or my boyfriend holds something out of reach and giggles when I do my best impression of a kitten trying to catch a laser beam.

Other times, it is pretty awesome. Like whenever I’m flying with a budget airline and can still fit my knees into the footwell. Or when I can work in the most absurd positions my ADHD commands — on my tummy in a hammock, cross-legged on a beanbag — and not get back pain. My boyfriend doesn’t have this luxury. He often has issues with his back , and as a digital nomad, it is a big issue.

When you have a home office, you can set it up for your needs. You can invest in a comfortable chair and a desk at the right table. When you are living in limbo, working from Airbnbs, hostels, coffee-shops or beach loungers, it is far more of a struggle to find a comfortable set-up.

While the freedom to choose your workspace is a luxury, it can also be a curse for your posture. Poor posture can lead to a host of physical and mental health issues, such as back pain, headaches, reduced productivity, and decreased overall well-being.

So, how can you take care of your posture as a digital nomad? Here are some hacks and habits.

Why Posture Matters

Jokes aside, sitting correctly isn’t only important for people who suffer from backache. I’m sure you’ve seen those images warning office workers what their bodies will look like if they keep curling over their laptops.

The UK organisation Fellowes released a report in 2019 that showed the “work colleague of the future”, after showing that 90% of UK office workers suffer from health issues due to spending so much time sitting.

“Emma” is hunch-baked and has varicose veins caused by poor blood flow. Her eyes are red and dry from staring at a computer screen. Emma is absolutely terrifying, partly because she is a lifesize doll, and partly because she is a warning of the health problems our work culture could bring us in the future.



Stark Raving

Intersectional feminism and environmental issues. Let’s make the world a kinder, more sustainable place. Support my work!