The Ideal Sitting Posture Concept Reframed
Prolonged poor sitting posture is one the most common findings in the office and university setting today. As workers and students dive deep into their work, they tend to find themselves adopting a hunched over “banana-like” posture for a considerable portion of their day. As many of us know and have likely experienced before (myself included), this eventually leads to aches and pains in the neck, upper back and shoulders.
Now you’ve probably heard this all before – and you’ve also been told to sit in the ideal upright posture throughout the day. Shoulders back, chin tucked, face forward, feet planted and so on. But as you know this requires a huge amount of effort both physically and consciously.
Instead of trying to maintain an ideal sitting posture during the day, we should instead look to take care of our bodies in the hours that we aren’t seated.
So, what may this look like?
1. TAKE Regular breaks from sittinG
Getting up to move the body will do wonders in keeping aching joints and muscles at bay.
2. mobility work
Find the time to incorporate mobility exercises into your day to alleviate muscle and joint stiffness.
3. STRENGTH work
Through building muscle strength, we will in turn build joint support and stability. Furthermore, eccentric and isometric work will help to improve tendon health and muscle flexibility. All benefits that our body will thank us for in the long run.
THINGS YOU CAN DO TODAY TO RESET AFTER A LONG DAY SEATED
Purpose: Improve flexion and extension in the thoracic spine
- Start on all fours
- Push up and round your back up towards the sky (flexion)
- Relax your back and let it drop down towards the floor (extension)
Load: 3×10 each day
Side-lying Thoracic Rotations
Purpose: Improve rotation in the thoracic spine
- Start side-lying on the floor
- Bring your knees to 90 degrees flexion and your hips to above 90 degrees flexion to create a subtle round in your low back
- Your bottom hand holds your knees down to the floor
- Your top hand reaches forward to initiate the movement and then peels back in an attempt to try and touch the floor behind you, thus creating rotation in your thoracic spine
Load: 3×10 each day.
You may do an extra set on the side with less range of motion
Purpose: Improve deep neck flexor strength as well as neck posture
- Start seated
- Place your index finger on your chin
- Use your neck muscles to consciously retract your chin away from your finger
- Hold this position for 2s and repeat
Load: 3×10 each day.
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