Posture is defined as the position in which someone holds their body while sitting and standing. In this technological age, we are seated more than standing and seated posture has a huge impact on health. Fortunately, by adding these simple tricks into your day, you can improve your posture easily.
Since the beginning of 2020, a lot more of us started to work from home. This probably did not change your work requirements, but it did change your work station. Some of you may have had a standing desk, or a versa desk, at the office. This type of desk would allow you to sit for part of the day and stand for part of the day. At home, most of us are working at a dining room table while trying to keep the kids on task on the dog not barking.
This is why posture is so important. With all the added stresses in our life, both physical and emotional, having a few simple tips to improve your health is like finding a needle in a haystack.
First and foremost, make sure your laptop or desktop is at eye level. The subtle flexion on your neck to look down at your computer amplifies the stress on your joints and increases tension in your neck muscles. Hunching or slouching also causes increased strain on your spine, especially your mid and lower back. Prolonged hunching can lead to stiffness in the thoracic spine which can impair your ability to take deep breaths. This will also lead to decreased oxygen utilization which can cause slightly labored breathing and impaired cognition.
The easiest way to combat all of the issues is to get up and move often. It has been recommended to move around two minutes for every 30 minutes of sitting. I have recommended patients set a timer for every 10-15 minutes to remind them to stretch. Movement is the best way to minimize the effects of bad posture. Here are a few ways to improve your posture and your health.
Three Ways to Improve Posture
Pelvic Tilt – While sitting, place your hands on your hips and imagine you are holding a big bowl of water in your hands. Then rotate your pelvis forward as if pouring water out of the front of the bowl. Now rotate your pelvis backwards as if pouring water out of the back of the bowl. Do this five times each direction.
Thoracic Spine Stretch – In a seated position, place both hands behind your head. Squeeze your shoulder blades together then lean back to stretch your mid back against the chair. Perform five times and hold for 15 seconds on the last one.
Brugger Posture – Sit upright with arms at your side and hands facing forward. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and tuck your chin for a 4 second hold. Repeat 2-5 times.
These exercises can be performed several times a day depending on how sedentary you are throughout your day. I hope these simple tricks will help your aches and pains, improve your posture, and increase your overall health.
Dr Spencer Charlet
for more information on the exercises, click here