Posture correction…Yes! We know it's not easy….
….but it is so relevant in these current stressful times we find ourselves. This is particularly important for those now working from home. You may well be working on a laptop on your lap or coffee/dining table. Even if you are lucky enough to have an office at home the set up may still be below par.
Identifying all the causes for you
There’s so many possible causes and many that are hard to change. We often spend a great deal of time doing them, for example working and commuting, dealing with kids all day, driving and even slouching during well earned relaxation time.
Even the gym, and some leisure activities such as cycling can be a problem. Now I’m not saying cycling is a bad thing at all but if you picture that position in the saddle - it’s really not good!
The good news is though it’s never too late to make a difference and the sooner you start the better!
So what can you do?
Pilates and Yoga
We at necksaviour are huge Pilates and Yoga fans and they really can make a difference. They give you the building blocks to be able to make a change. If you don’t increase joint and soft tissue mobility that the postural change requires it will be much harder to make the correction at best and actually impossible at worst. It’s worth finding a good instructor and asking them about specific exercises for postural correction.
Also check out these specific, science based anti-hunching exercises here too:
Gravity Gravity Gravity!
Lie down whenever you can. That way you are eliminating the downward pressure of the head and trunk on the spine that is always there - even when you sit.
You can actually use gravity to your advantage when you lie down because it will help ‘flatten’ the spinal curves back to how they should be and not the exaggerated ones that we physiotherapists see so often in clinic.
Lying down means you are also more likely to get some floor exercises done too J
Posture supports can be a great help. Generally they aren’t as uncomfortable and constraining as people imagine. In fact you can still slouch with them but they continually remind you that you shouldn’t be in that hunched, forward head and shoulder position and eventually you hold a good position instinctively. They are what physios would call ‘proprioceptively’ showing you where your alignment should be again.
The same is true with necksaviour. Used regularly to stretch the neck it can not only help with neck pain and headaches but also encourage a healthy degree of chin retraction and good neck alignment while you just lie on it and relax.
Ergonomic work set up
This image shows the ideal set up so get as close to it as you possibly can. And look out for some of the most common problems such as:
- Placing paperwork between you and your keyboard which makes your overreach.
- Having arms on the chair that are too large and don’t go over or under the desk so you always end up sitting too far away.
Taking regular breaks is essential as well as regular exercises you can do at your desk. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdfTuxdfIE8
Also consider a kneeling chair or even a standing desk.
Get off your phone!
Yes we know it’s common advice but it really is true. You might get a shock if you check your phone screen time! J Looking down at your phone can effectively increase the stress of the weight of your head from 10-12lbs to 50lbs or more!!
Don’t think just because you can’t make the set up perfect or that you can only do some of the exercise or active posture correction all the time it’s not worth making as much adjustment as possible…it will help. Start now and get perfect later!
Having said that, the more time you spend in the good/improved posture the easier it becomes. This is due to the way these core/slow twitch muscles work and that the soft tissue (muscles, tendons and ligament) are of a sufficient length and condition to maintain it.
So, no it’s not easy but it is definitely worth trying to improve your posture. There are so many benefits including reduced back and neck pain and headaches. Now is as good a time as any, particularly as it may not be possible to see your therapist right now.
Stay safe and well everyone.
Find out more about Necksaviour and their amazing range of products here: https://www.necksaviour.com/