Proper Posture

tip by Action Reaction Physical Therapy

It’s all about posture. Listen to your mother when she tells you to sit up straight!

Tip of the week: Posture during the day does make a difference to your body and your pain. Sit with good chair support and do not slump or reach far forward toward the computer.

What is the ideal posture? Too often, we fall into a slumped posture from sitting in chairs so much of the day. As you slump and round your back, your neck compensates with extension so that you will be able to look forward. This posture is called a forward head position as your chin juts forward and the back of the neck shortens, which can lead to back and neck pain over time. And if you have a desk job, routinely reaching forward to your computer causes the front of your chest to tighten and the back to stretch and weaken.

How to correct that? If sitting, try using a chair that has a little lumbar support with your feet flat on the floor and hips and knees at 90 degrees. Use your back rest to support your spine, if needed add a pillow or towel roll behind your back to keep you fairly straight and support the natural curves of your spine. Keep your computer close to you so that your elbows are by your side (you can use the armrests if they are the right height) and your shoulders are back. This will also help your neck to stay in a better position. Then try pulling the chin in slightly toward your throat and elongating the back of your neck. By doing this, your ears should be aligned directly over your shoulders.

While you may have now mastered perfect sitting posture, make sure to get and move around frequently during the day.

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