Four Easy Posture Hacks, brought to you by Doctor of Physical Therapy, Jack Frawley
The average American sits for 12 hours a day. Let that sink in. In one day, once sleep is factored in, there isn’t much time to move or take care of your body. Given that people spend most of their day working it is easiest to make changes at your desk. By employing these four quick and easy posture hacks it is possible to relieve tired muscles, offload the joints of your neck and back, and stretch shortened muscles. All of this equates to a better healthier you! The more mobile you are the better you move and feel throughout the day as you go for a run, play with your kids, or sleep at night. Your posture plays a role in how your body feels throughout the day and these four easy posture hacks will get you on the road to recovery!
Get up more frequently
Getting up every half hour gets you out of the comfortable, but detrimental, positions that you like. It allows your muscles to move and stretch from the static position you have been in. It lets your joints move and shifts how the load is placed on them. The act of moving lubricates those joint surfaces. When you sit back down it gives you a chance to adopt a better posture and think about how you are situating your shoulders, arms, back, and legs.
Use a reminder system
Getting up more frequently is easier said than done. When you get in the groove it can be hard to remember the importance of your posture on your long term health. Put a recurring reminder on your phone that pops up to tell you to get up, or a sticky note next to your computer monitor. Another option? If you have co-workers around, get them in on the fun. It’s easier to stand up and move around if you have someone to keep you accountable!
Arrange an ergonomic workspace
Unless you’re a park ranger, most people spend the majority or their work day seated at a desk. Regardless of your specific setup, whether it be seated or standing, it’s imperative to keep it in a position that allows for a neutral and stable position for your body. The specifics may differ based on the workspace but generally:
- Feet are supported or on the ground
- Knees are at hip height or a little below
- Your back is upright against the seat back
- Shoulders are relaxed with the head situated over your shoulders
- Elbows bent at about 90 degrees
- Desk height positioned such that your hands can sit comfortably on the mouse/keyboard
- Monitor height at about eye level
Small changes over time
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was your bad posture. It would be naïve to assume that you can achieve all these changes AND maintain them overnight! Like with a new diet or fitness goal, small changes made over time lead to a better more sustainable outcome. If you feel intimidated by making all these changes at once, pick one or two to focus on for two weeks and slowly add in the rest.
If you have tried these steps and are still having pains, or want a more in-depth assessment of your unique situation, feel free to reach out to us at Dee PT in Hinesburg (802) 482-2200, Shelburne (802) 985-4440, or South Burlington (802) 865-0010, or through email at [email protected]
Let us help you feel good again!