Is Posture causing your pain?
For the majority of desk based workers, you tend to spend many hours chained to a desk leaving us being sedentary with a less active lifestyle.
It is not a surprise that we do not exercise and move enough. More and more people are under stress to hit targets at work and get that extra bit done.
A lot of jobs in todays society are now desk based with many suffering with neck, shoulders, upper back and lower back pains to name just a few ailments.
Add to the mix poor posture from typing, holding a mouse incorrectly for long periods and balancing that phone between the ear and the shoulder and we then develop many repetitive strain injuries
The human body is an amazing thing, but it has evolved to MOVE!
What happens to the body as a desk based worker?
Many desk based workers let their heads fall forwards away from our shoulders as we get almost drawn into our computer screen, down to a tablet or mobile phone. We gravitate towards these items.
The average human head weights approx. 5Kg when fully supported by the spine, but those little neck muscles will find it difficult to hold the head if it falls forward resulting in the weight to increase up to three times thus a spiralling effect of increasing weight and neck muscles failing.
Next your upper shoulder muscles rise up (hike) towards your ears to help your neck muscles support the weight of your head. So now potentially you create tension headaches that refer from your upper shoulders up around your skull.
Sounds familiar? Change that posture, reduce headaches and tightness in the back, shoulders and neck
How will you know when to move?
Our bodies will tell us when they are not happy with tightness, stiff joints, aches or pains felt in our muscles. Chances are if you experience the above, your body is warning you helping you recognise bad movement postures and positions.
If you sit in an awkward position for a long period of time, it is not until we get up and walk that pain can hits us quite sharply. It can almost be like a slap across the face with the intensity at times. If you listen to your body it is always telling you something.
I’m aching, please move me!
I’m numb, please move me!
I’m in agony – time to go and see someone! (www.book.sportsphysiouk.co.uk)
It is really interesting to note that just a few tweaks with posture can make a MASSIVE difference to your body.
So how do we make the change?
Everyone can move the head to the correct position, but it become difficult to maintain that position for long periods.
Gravity will take effect when we become lazy and generally we do not realise something is wrong until it is too late and those muscles have worked too much and now give you a headache and/or discomfort.
What do you start with?
Let us start at the top, the Head.
Where is it in relation to your body – use a mirror to glance sideways and check if you can.
Look at your ears, my guess is they will be in front of your shoulders.
Your head needs to be on top of your shoulders.
Sounds so simple, right? Wrong
You need to be more BODY AWARE!
- Be aware of where your head is in relation to the rest of your body ALL DAY.
- If you do notice your head falling forward, bring it back. Put it back on the shoulders it was designed to sit above.
- Mentally congratulate yourself on the achievement of recognising and correcting the issue.
- This alone will get you on the way to correcting some of those niggles.
Other Postural tips
- Look for are the shoulders creeping towards your ears. This is also known as a shoulder hike. When you realise they have risen, gently push them down again and relax with some deep breathing.
- Don’t let the shoulders round forward, keep the collar bones nice and wide.
These contribute to a lot of upper shoulder and neck pain.
- Sit equally on your chair with weight spread across both hips evenly.
How many times a day do you cross your legs or your ankles? Each time you cause asymmetry in your pelvis you are adding to ligament and muscles strains to one side of your body.
- Take good care of the spine with the natural “S” shaped curves and avoid the slouching “C” shaped we all adopt too easily in comfy chairs. You may need a back support in your chair to help maintain this or a small cushion in your lower back.
- When you chair a meeting, stand up.
In work, an employer will take responsibility to ensure the desk set up is correct for the job you are completing, but you MUST take personal responsibility over chair heights and body positioning etc.
- Get away from the desk at lunch and have a walk. This is great for stress and anxiety too. Have a look at our Anxiety Blog by Lucy Livesey, a well established and experienced Mental Health Nurse.
- If you need to chat to someone in the office, go and walk over to them instead of using the internal phone systems.
Above mentions just a few alterations you can make regarding your posture. These will prevent aches and pains when sitting at work or home for long periods.
The best thing is MOVEMENT. Get up, walk around and move every hour.
If you have aches, pains or tension in the shoulders, back or neck, do not leave it. Come and see us, will help. We can provide you with more individual advice personalised around your body
Book online via htt://book.sportsphysiouk.co.uk, or call the Booking Team on 01706 842996