We’re deep into COVID times now! I’m guessing you’ve clicked this article because you’ve noticed your posture is… ahem… not great. Speaking from personal experience, I have a tendency to sit at my desk for way too long while working from home. I’ve become much better at noticing my posture while I work, but fixing my posture is still top of mind before I sit down at my desk every day.
If you’re on a computer for most of the day, and you find your head slowly inching forward, your shoulders rounding, and your neck pain is dialing up, then this is the article for you. I asked our team of physiotherapists to share their BIGGEST tips to improve posture immediately! We’ll cover the 5 most important posture hacks and give you some quick exercises to fix your posture now.
First of all, what is “posture”, and why does it matter?
I’m going to assume that most of our readers intuitively understand what “posture” means. Or at least, they know that it relates to how one holds themselves while standing (or sitting/laying down).
What I’m more interested in however, is good posture. How do practitioners define that? And how does one aim for good posture?
My research found that there is no such thing as “a perfect posture”. Posture will be different from person to person, and good posture is defined as “the position in which the least strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments”. Observe the diagram below:
Your “correct posture” might not look exactly like the image on the right, but the benefits of your posture should align with the terms in right column (ie. higher mobility, pain prevention, good circulation, better breathing, etc).
Good posture also has these specific benefits:
- Keeps bones and joints in the correct position (alignment) so that muscles are being used properly.
- Helps cut down on the wear and tear of joint surfaces (such as the knee) to help prevent the onset of arthritis.
- Decreases the strain on the ligaments in the spine.
- Prevents the spine from becoming fixed in abnormal positions.
- Prevents fatigue because muscles are being used more efficiently, which allows the body to use less energy.
- Prevents backache and muscular pain.
Now that we’ve outlined what good posture is, let’s take a look at how to get you there!
How to fix your posture immediately
Here are the most important tips I gathered from our practitioners:
1. Be mindful of it!
2. Make small corrections or adjustments
3. Place a reminder by your desk or work-space
4. Take short, frequent breaks to move and stretch
5. Get a personalized assessment from one of our practitioners!
3 Quick Exercises to Fix your Posture
1. Chin Tuck/Neck Retraction
- Stand with the back of your head on the wall and your feet out from the wall and your knees slightly bent.
- You can place your hand across the front of your neck just above your collarbone to monitor unwanted activity of the surface muscles.
- Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth, with your jaw relaxed.
- Keeping the head in contact with the wall, slide the back of the head up the wall as you nod your chin down as far as you can go without the surface muscles tightening under your fingers.
- Hold for the time instructed and then return to the starting position.
2. Upper Trap Stretching
- Sit in a chair and grasp the seat with your affected hand to lower your shoulder.
- Tilt your head to the opposite side while tucking in your chin and flexing the neck as to look at your toes.
- You may also place your other hand on your head and pull it down until a stretch is felt on top of the shoulder.
- Maintain the stretch and relax.
3. Active Neck Rotation
- Position yourself in a tall sitting or semi-reclined position.
- Tuck your chin in and turn your head to one side for the prescribed number of repetitions.
- Repeat on the other side.
Want more info?
Our team of experienced physiotherapists are ready to help you get rid of pain and optimize your posture. If you’d like more information on our services, we’re happy to offer a complimentary phone call to help you with your injury and pain. Call us at 604-828-2610 to set up a phone call, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org