As soon as posture is mentioned, most people sit up straight in attempt to look dignified, a slight look of shame on their face. But be honest and do a quick posture check: how are you sitting right now? Chances are that many of us are reading on laptops that rest on desks well below eye level, which is an almost certain way to lead yourself into the hunched over laptop pose shown above. This "laptop pose," as you might call it, is characterized by shoulders scrunched forward and upward and a neck and chin leaning down toward the screen. This posture casts unreasonable pressure on the neck and shoulder muscles, as they attempt to compensate for the weight imbalance your head is imposing on the spine.
Proper seated posture looks something like this:
- Head facing straight forward, centered over the spine. This may mean adjusting the height of your monitor to account for this position.
- Back straight, buttocks touching the back of the chair and shoulders relaxed.
- A pillow or rolled up jacket can be useful for encouraging the lordotic curve.
- Weight of torso distributed evenly between hips
- Legs at 90 degrees or slightly higher
- Feet flat on the floor without too much pressure being pushed through them.
Even holding this "perfect posture," for the entire time you are seated is not quite good enough. You must still find time to move around and free up the tension that accumulates when you spend significant time stagnant.
Sitting, besides already being the worst position for the spine, is the posture that most lends itself toward laziness, and thus the muscular imbalance and poor curvature that can develop as a result. Sitting up straight is not a maxim to be taken lightly; for those of us who spend hours a day desk-bound, it should be a rallying cry. At Hayes Family Chiropractic, we are your posture specialists. That is, we can help you find and establish proper posture throughout all phases of the waking day. Muscles in the core can be developed to help stabilize the body and lend a hand to the vertebrae and discs in the lower back which may be under fire from a sit-heavy lifestyle. Whether you need to heal damage that has already been done, or establish a seated lifestyle that will prevent it from occurring, we can help; give our office in Dunedin a call to schedule an appointment today.
Dr. Diane Hayes, D.C.