What is good posture?
Good Posture is what we all started with.
Look at a baby sitting on the floor, they have perfect alignment. As we get older we develop personality traits that inform our posture, work habits which repeat movements and we wear shaped shoes that alter our balance and weight distribution. When you get to a point that it is uncomfortable to execute every day movements, or when your job is getting to be an endurance test, it is advisable to appraise your posture to get into happier habits.
How can bad posture be corrected?
Obviously if you are dealing with a serious condition, or are unsure of what ails you, it is always advisable for you to seek medical advice.
Identifying your imbalances and postural habits, learning how to rectify them, if possible, and committing to doing whatever is necessary on a daily basis, is the key to building better posture.
As we hold our bodies in familiar ways, repeatedly everyday, we overuse some muscles, which keep them short and tight, there are also muscles that are underworked and are therefore quite weak. Picture the way people sit at a desk. Their lower back muscles are not being worked particularly as they sit all day, and possibly they are elevating their shoulders a lot typing, using the phone and perhaps tightening the jaw through stress.
There will be exercises for you to do to strengthen weak muscles and to stretch shortened ones. There will be ways for you to check your alignment, once you have been shown what it is that needs to be rectified. Having regular massage may help to maintain healthy muscle tone and to stimulate your circulation in the areas of stress, to reengage their optimum health.
The key to maintaining a healthy and balanced body is by concentrating on your flexibility, mobility and circulation.
If you are working in an Office at a Desk everyday….
1. Take Regular Breaks.
Go and make the tea, take a walk around the block, speak to a colleague in person instead of emailing from across the Office. Do everything you can to break up the amount of time you spend in front of the computer, without it becoming frowned upon by your Boss!
Get up, reach to the ceiling, touch your toes, twist to look behind. Do all the moves your body wants to do to open up from all the right angles you have been keeping it in.
3. Seated exercises
You can use shoulder rotations forward and back, gentle head rotations side to side and even jaw rotations to loosen up the hinges that tighten in moments of stress.
4. Always distribute the weight of your bag evenly.
Rucksacks are the new black. You can get one to suit you, but most importantly your shoulders will thank you for it! We need to even up from top to bottom. We carry bags every day and it does matter how you distribute the weight.
5. Have your desk/computer/chair ergonomically adjusted for you.
A lot of companies will pay for someone to provide this for you as part of their Health and Safety Legislation. Does yours? Is Hot Seating being utilised at your work?
Is it time to get the team together to insist on a regular desk so you can work in comfort?
Winter Posture Alert –
When we close ourselves up and slouch, it triggers a range of changes in our upper body. We round from the back, and elevate our shoulders to our ears, which in turn forces our necks and heads forwards.
This winter posture is not easy for the muscles around our neck, shoulders and upper back to adapt to: they can become fatigued and aches caused by this can cause discomfort. Tension headaches become more likely, exacerbated by the darker days and increased use of artificial lights.
Blog by Leon Baugh, Osteopath at Shine on the Green.