Spending countless hours sitting in the same position is tough on the body! Your body should only be still for long periods when you are resting. The head is the weight of a bowling ball and it should be centred on top of the body. If this bowling ball is in front of the body we round our neck and shoulders creating a C curve like the illustration below. Sitting for a long period reading, writing or on our computers places a lot of pressure on our spine and we begin to manifest symptoms such as a tight neck and shoulders and for some people headaches.
We wrote this blog with students in mind but it will benefit you too as you are most likely reading this on some type of computer! Here are some great tips to help you improve your posture either at school, work or home.
Improve your sitting posture in 20 seconds. This exercise also helps to circulate more oxygen and stimulate your brain:
- First, exaggerate your "bad posture" with rounded shoulders and arms dangling down as seen in the first image below.
- Next, take a big breathe in with your arms resting on your thighs with your palms up. Take another big breath as you straighten and lengthen your back and extend your head towards the ceiling.
- Release your breathe slowly and maintain your new posture. You are ready for your next 30 minutes of study!
Dehydrated muscles are tight and add to tiredness. It may seem obvious, but don't forget to drink water throughout the day. Have your bottle of water on your desk to have it as a reminder. Know that y the time you feel very thirsty, you are already partially dehydrated.
Here are a couple of exercises that will help your posture :
- Shoulder Squeeze: Put your elbows to the horizontal, and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Do this 10 to 15 times -several times a day. This exercise will improve your muscle tone in your mid-back.
- Head Retraction: In order to avoid your head falling forward: strengthen your deep neck muscles. To do so, create a "double chin" by pushing your head backward. Do this 10 to 15 times -several time a day.
We have some useful blogs addressing shoulder tension. By doing our regular exercises you can find out which ones work best for you and come up with your own routine to do each day at home.
- Shoulder Stretches part 1 addresses rotator cuff injuries and shoulders that feel stuck.
- Shoulder stretches part 2 addresses nerve impingement in the shoulder and or arms.
- spikey ball. We get great feedback form our patients that use a spikey massage ball. If you have one we have some great tips on how you can get the most out of it! We have them in stock if you are looking to purchase one.
We recommend you stretch daily and find a good yoga and pilates instructor and go regularly to help your whole body feel great! We are lucky in Wellington to have so many studios available. Choose somewhere convenient so it is easy to attend a class. We love Pilates Flow in Hataitai. Many of our students attend the Newtown Community Centre yoga class which is a koha class. Of course a chiropractic check-up from time to time will also do wonders for your posture.
Study well, Be well!