07 Apr Five Easy Steps To Better Posture (no more texting neck!)
Good posture works wonders. Not only can it put an end to pain, but standing or sitting tall also helps us look longer, stronger and therefore more youthful.
The problem? Many of us don’t know that little changes can go a long way to saving our necks and backs.
But first, it’s a good idea to check how much slouching you do in the first place.
“If you’re a sloucher,” Flex Trainer and Physiotherapist Donna Gee says, “your head will be forward and shoulders rounded. If you can’t tell by looking in the mirror (we all stand straighter when seeing ourselves reflected back), imagine you’re wearing long dangly earrings. If the earrings dangle down anywhere over the front of your chest, you’re slouching.
“If the ‘dangling earrings’ land on top of your shoulders, your head is in the correct posture.”
Simple right? Now, how do you keep up that good posture throughout the day?
Here, Donna gives us her five top daily tips for better posture and less pain.
How to sit at your desk:
- Head and shoulders must be erect and balanced, feet flat on the floor or on a footrest.
- Back should be straight with a hip/trunk angle no greater than 90 degrees and an even weight on buttocks and thighs.
- Have the top of your screen approximately at eye level.
- Use an inclined work surface to reduce unnecessary bending of the neck and back while helping to keep the shoulders back and out of a rounded posture
- Maintain the back’s natural curve. Ideally, this sees the lower back ever-so slightly curved inward toward the abs, so you’re not sliding your butt forward along the seat.
How to carry your handbag:
- Check in a mirror that shoulders are level with each other. With good postural awareness and good scapular stability, it is possible to carry a reasonably-weighted handbag and keep your shoulders level.
- Switch the bag to the opposite shoulder regularly.
- Switch to a bag with a shoulder strap worn diagonally over your body. You can lift the bag occasionally to decrease the pull down on your shoulders.
- A backpack is ideal if you don’t mind the fashion statement.
Which shoes to buy:
- They have to fit properly (have your feet measured at least once in your life), be comfortable and provide support for the bony structures. Price does not always reflect the best fit for your body/foot type.
- When you put on the shoe, in addition to comfort and the correct size, ensure you can maintain the natural curves in your spine. If so, then I have no objections to you wearing the shoe.
How to sit when driving:
Because car seats differ from car to car, the goal is to support/maintain the natural curves of the spine.
- Adjust the seat distance so that knees are below hip joints. Check that arms can be held comfortably at roughly 3 and 9 o’clock hand positions on the wheel. If the seat is too far forward – so that your knees are flexed above your hips – this will put your low back into a rounded posture rather than the natural lumber curve.
- Sit upright as if you are going to press the back of your head against the headrest (but don’t actually press it). Have your head held upright as opposed to head forward/chin poking out. Your upper back/shoulder blade area should be resting comfortably against the seat back.
- Check you’re not hunching nor rounding shoulders forward.
How To Avoid Texting Neck:
- Stop before you look. Always hold your phone at eye level or look down with your eyes and not your head.
- If you’re feeling the pinch from bending your head down to look at the screen, enjoy a few neck and shoulder rolls throughout the day, to reduce shoulder and neck tension.
Flex is holding the Postural Taping to Alleviate Neck & Shoulder Pain workshop on May 6 in our Central studio. For more information, go to: https://flexhk.com/workshop/