Without realising many of us are victims of bad posture, it can occur for a number of reasons, one of the most common is from the many hours a day we spend hunched over desks, computers and our mobile phones. Have you thought about your posture when you’re driving? How about when you are sleeping? Often we disregard these factors yet are left wondering why we have such bad neck or back pain which becomes debilitating in our daily lives. We have to remember to take it back to the fundamentals and stay conscious of how we position ourselves when we are sitting, standing and lying down.
This is extremely important for those who are in jobs that require you to be seated for the majority of hours a day, as well as those in school. It can be hard to maintain good posture when seated especially when busy or tired but if you make these small changes you will be sure to see an improvement. Sit with your back straight and your shoulders rolled back, make sure your shoulder blades are flattened and not winging. Also, be sure to relax your shoulders and bring them down by activating your latissimus dorsi muscles. Often when we are stressed our shoulders tend to raise creating tightness in the surrounding areas.
Your feet should be flat on the ground with your weight evenly distributed in your seat, so that means no crossing legs. Make sure the height of your chair is correctly in line with your desk & computer so you aren’t looking up or down but comfortably looking straight ahead. Using an exercise ball or standing desks are also effective tools to break up the constant sitting but be sure to use these up to only thirty minutes each time.
Similar to sitting, when standing you must remember to keep your shoulders rolled back and pulled down away from your ears. Keep your knees slightly bent and your weight on the balls of your feet which should be positioned in line with your shoulders. Try to extend your spine and press your feet into the ground but don’t lock your knees, always keep a slight bend there.
Do not arch your back or stick out your buttocks, if you feel you may do this tuck in your pelvis and slightly tense your core. We can recommend an array of exercises that will train your body to stand tall and avoid slouching.
Often when we have neck or shoulder pain the first thing we want to do is rest it by lying down. But are you lying down correctly? Make sure your pillow is positioned tightly in the gap between your head and your shoulders. This will eliminate the chance of your shoulders raising and your neck being laid on in an awkward position. We sleep for an average of eight hours a day, so it is important that we make sure our bodies are in safe positions to avoid pain when we wake up.
You can also place a pillow behind your back and another under your knees for further support. Sleeping on your back is the best positon as it reduces pressure on your head, neck and spine.
Car seats can often push our bodies into unnatural positions causing us to hunch over the wheel. If you feel this may be the case for you, try placing a pillow behind your lower back, also make sure your seat is not too close to the wheel so your arms have space to move freely and your knees are higher than your hips. It is imperative that you stretch after driving for a long period of time or being stuck in traffic, this will reduce pain and any stress caused to the back and neck.
An example of a simple stretch you can do is to straighten your back, rotate your trunk to one side and hold for five seconds, and then rotate to the opposite side and hold for another five seconds. Also, be sure to incorporate the pointers we mentioned for “sitting” while driving too.
If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We will be happy to help you with any postural issues you may have. Give us a call on 020 8482 1112.Leave a reply