You made it through another week. Here’s to you. This week, we’ve got advice on how to visualize that six-foot distance better, and how to fix your home office so you don’t end up with a lot of back pain. But before we get there:

  • We’ve got the best online events this week, including the Laughter in Lockdown comedy fundraiser, Bruce Springsteen, and more: inquirer.com/calendar. And our kids calendar is updated every Sunday with ways to keep the kids occupied while you work: inquirer.com/kidscalendar.
  • How to do (everything) better: Everything you need to know about living right now is all here in one place: inquirer.com/topic/do-this

Stay healthy, stay safe, and, as much as possible, stay home.

Staying six feet away can be hard to picture. Here are some ways to help remember what six feet looks like.
Cynthia Greer
Staying six feet away can be hard to picture. Here are some ways to help remember what six feet looks like.

Your questions, answered

Picture this

Six feet apart is the watchword, at least for the next little while. While Philly and the surrounding region may move into the yellow phase soon, social distancing is still going to be very much a part of our lives in the weeks and months to come. Which brings up the question: What exactly does six feet look like? Grace Dickinson has some handy advice to help us stay at a safe distance from others.

  • More than a regular Philly sidewalk. In Philadelphia, 5 feet is the standard width requirement for sidewalks in most residential neighborhoods. But plenty are even narrower.
  • Any 76er. The shortest current player on the roster is Raul Neto, at 6′1″. Joel Embiid, who’s 7′, would give you a full foot of leeway.
  • Two shopping carts. A shopping cart can be a good way to think about social distancing. Picture your cart, plus an extra one hooked to the front. It’ll make you more aware of how close you’re getting to others.
  • More than your arms, outstretched (probably). The distance between your outstreched arms is roughly equivalent to your height. The amount of extra room depends on how far your height is from six feet.

More useful comparisons in Grace’s full piece.

Fix this

Your home office is wrecking your back. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Nick Vadala dug into how to fix your office set-up so you don’t destroy your body. The full piece has great advice from back experts, but here are some things you can do right now:

  • Don’t work from the couch. You have to think about how your arms, elbows, knees, and hips are positioned, says Alexis Tingan of Penn Medicine. In general, he says, you’ll want to look for 90-degree angles at your joints: your elbows should be at a 90-degree angle when sitting at your desk, as should your hips and knees, and your feet should be flat on the ground. Your gaze should be as straight ahead as possible.
  • Hack your existing chair. Don’t want to lay out the cash for a new fancy seat? Dani Walsh of Epic Chiropractic in Northern Liberties recommends stuffing a firm pillow or rolled up towel in the small of your back for extra support in your existing office chair, or using an extra cushion on the seat to raise you up if you are sitting too low. And if your feet can’t sit flat on the ground while sitting, try using a foot stool, a stack of books, or even plastic containers to even out your footing.
  • Try a standing desk setup. Tingan says standing is a good option, or at least alternating between sitting and standing to break up the workday. Standing, can help correct the alignment of your back, spine, and neck, he says, all with the added benefit of burning more calories than sitting. And make sure your feet are squared — not standing like the statue of David with one hip cocked.

Bake this

If you’re not a baker, you’re probably feeling it right now. With a mess of sourdough enthusiasts, baking seems to be what everyone is into right now. So it is with Jenn Ladd, who writes: “I am not a baker. I’m contractually obligated to bake once a year: I make a from-scratch chocolate-chocolate birthday cake for my husband.”

But Jenn found some user-friendly recipes for non-bakers who also don’t have yeast. If you number in this population, she’s found recipes for lemon meringue bars, homemade Oreos and no-yeast cinnamon rolls.