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Posture – Your Mum was Right!

By April 17, 2015 No Comments

Your Mum Always Knows Best

“Sit up straight” – these three wise words can make all the difference in your daily life!

Posture is essential in preventing low back and neck pain both now and in the future. As physios, we see more and more problems arise from poor posture or sitting in the same position too long. Sitting incorrectly can cause excessive strain on structures in the back and be a major contributor to back pain.

Our spine is comprised of bony vertebrae stacked on each other and separated by a cushiony disc. Sitting for long periods and with poor posture increases the pressure in the disc and be a cause of back pain.

At Platinum Physio we can assist you with achieving good posture, correcting any muscle imbalances and of course exercises and Pilates to sustain your change. Read below to find out how you can help your posture and save your back and neck.

Posture at your desk

  • Firstly centre the screen directly in front of you and your keyboard.
  • If you use 2 screens set them so they are even, or prioritise one in front of you that you refer to more.
  • Make sure your monitor is at an appropriate height by aligning the top of the screen roughly 5cm above seated eye level.
  • The arm rests should be at a height where your shoulders and elbows are comfortably flexed.
  • Your feet should be able to comfortably touch the floor, foot stools can help with this set up.
  • Adjust your chair height so your knees are in line or just below your hips
  • If you use a phone throughout the day try using a head set to avoid leaning your neck to the side.

Commonly when using a computer our necks will fall forward and create excessive stress on the neck and muscles around the shoulder blades. By simply adjusting a few things around your work space and the way you sit you can reduce neck pain and headaches.

Standing Posture

Often people will shift their weight over to one side, slouch their shoulders, or tilt the pelvis. The back is not straight, it has 3 natural curves which are important to maintain when standing.

When standing, keep these tips in mind:
  • Keep your shoulders back and relaxed.
  • Engage your core muscles
  • Keep your feet about hip distance apart.
  • Balance your weight evenly on both feet.
  • Let your hands hang naturally at your sides.
  • Try not to tilt your head forward, backward or sideways, and make sure your knees are relaxed — not locked.

What can you do ?

  • Avoid slouching in the couch, use pillows to maintain the spines natural curves.
  • Set a reminder on your computer to stand up and stretch every hour.
  • At Platinum Physio we sell McKenzie Lumbar Rolls which are a great way to assist you in maintaining good posture – they are perfect for the car, couch and office.
  • Avoid long periods of using your phone, tablets or other devices.
  • If you use a laptop use some pillows or books underneath to bring the height of the screen closer to your eye level.

As Joseph Pilates said “Good Posture can be successfully acquired only when the entire mechanism of the body is under perfect control. Graceful carriage follows as a matter of course!”