How often do you sit in front of the computer and feel like you need to sit up straight but find you are too stiff to move? Poor posture sets up a chain reaction of tightness in the muscles, loss of movement in the spine and may cause pain and headaches.
Working together the muscles and spine help to create movement. When we stop moving as with prolonged sitting muscles tighten from decreased blood flow creating stiffness. Over time we begin to lose strength in our back and abdominals from our constant “forward” position which causes weakness in the back and neck (postural) muscles and tightness in the front.
However, there is good news! There are some simple exercises you can perform throughout the day that will help reduce poor posture and possibly alleviate pain.
Shoulder blade squeeze: Sit upright in a chair, tuck your chin to your neck, raise your chest and slowly bring the shoulder blades together. Keep your shoulders level and do not lift your shoulders up toward your ears. Hold for a few seconds, relax and repeat. Repeat 5-10 times, several times a day.
Shoulder rolls: Sit upright in a chair and slowly roll your shoulders in a circle going backwards. Roll your shoulders in this direction 5-10 times.
Side bend neck stretch: Sit upright in a chair and slowly bring your ear toward your shoulder. Do not raise your shoulder to your ear. Hold for 20 seconds and slowly return. Repeat on the opposite side. Repeat 3 times on each side.
Doorway chest stretch: Stand at the doorway with forearms on frame, elbows slightly bent. Step through the doorway until you feel a gentle stretch in the chest. Hold for 20 seconds and slowly return. Repeat 3 times.
Frequent change of position: Try to get up from your desk every 15 to 30 minutes. If needed, set a timer for a reminder.
When performed consistently these simple exercises can help maintain a healthy spine and decrease unnecessary discomfort.
Added on 10/05/2011
Therapy/Rehabilitation by The Lyons' Share-Our Blog
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