In this article, I want you to take a quick look at your sitting posture and give you a good positional exercise you can try for some relief. So to begin, thank goodness for computers, they bring us information and ideas tempting us to not only use them for eight hours at work but we come home and use them. Making us confined to our seats in repetitively strained positions for hours on end. These patterns are now even developing at an earlier age with our kids using computers and video games.
What does sitting at your desk tell you about your posture? It can be a revelation; poor sitting habits are prevalent and lead to aggravating and perpetuated neck/back problem.
Take a moment and check how you’re sitting.
- Are you sitting squarely on your sitz bones (the bony projection you feel when you sit) or are you leaning more to one side?
- Do you cross your legs when you sit and do you favor a leg when you cross them?
- When you sit and you’re relaxed do you notice that you are in a slumped position?
- What are your arms doing when sitting and not clicking that mouse, do you immediately fold your arms across your chest?
- If you have arm rests, do you rest both arms on the rests or do you tend to lean only one to rest.
- Are your feet touching the floor?
Poor sitting habits results in muscular strain, as well as head/neck strain. Unless steps are taken to properly position the body while using the computer, take breaks, to stretch and re-condition the muscles strained by the excessive use of computers. Many conditions for example TMJ disorders, tendonitis, tension in the neck, backache, headache to name a few, may emerge.
You could try to correct your bad posture every time you notice it and that could help you later but really you need to do more to make any real and long-lasting changes. You can try to exercise but if the imbalance has not been addressed it can perpetuate the same patterns.
You can take “over the counter pain medicine” but how long does that last? Neuromuscular Re-education Therapy an advanced Massage Therapy can be the medicine you need? The therapy helps re-condition your muscles to restore normal posture and normal patterns of movement. Then specific strengthening and flexibility exercise will be more effective.
But how should you be sitting at your computer?
- Legs should be uncrossed
- Knee joints should be lower than hip joints
- Pelvis should not be rotated posterior
- The spine should retain its normal curves
- The chest should appear open and not crowded
- The head should be balanced on the neck rather than tilted backwards
Here is a tip for some relief at your desk(Brugger’s relief position exercise):
- Sit at the edge of your seat
- Place feet directly below the knee then slightly separate them
- Roll your pelvis slightly forward to arch your back
- Ease your chest forward and upwards
- Rotate your arms outwards so the palms face backwards
- Separate the fingers so the thumbs face back wards slightly
- Draw the chin in slightly
- Remain in the posture as you breathe slowly and deeply into your abdomen
Repeat 3 to 4 times and if you haven’t been able to get to the gym in a while you want to repeat the process several times each hour.
It boils down to how well do you take care of your body, how well do you listen to those aches and pains?
Interested in more muscle therapy wellness tips? subscribe to this blog and receive the latest and greatest!
References: Clinical Application of Neuromuscular Techniques by Leon Chaitow and Judith Walker Delaney