#FAQF... "They say sitting is the new smoking. Can you help me with my posture?
#FAQF… “They say sitting is the new smoking. Can you help me with my posture? I have the whole ergonomic set up but I am so uncomfortable at my desk by the end of the day”… I LOVE this question!! And this is the topic of the majority of my corporate talks. We all spend so much time at work and at desks that it is essential for bodies to really understand the answer to this question.
Often times when people think of posture the words that come to mind are things like “straight” and “upright”, both of which are static terms. Those static words are important, but as humans, we are movers. Our bodies were not created to be static or fixed. Rather we are meant to be dynamic and adaptable. The key to good posture is variety and variability. Sitting in even the most ergonomically correct posture for hours on end will overload those tissues, cause shortening in the gastrocs, hamstrings, hip flexors, pecs, SCM, and upper traps. It will cause weakness in your gluts and weakening of your abdominal wall (umm hello core?!). It will increase the load on your Sacroiliiac Joint, SIJ ligaments, posterior annulus, and the posterior aspect of the vertebral column. Your erector muscles and middle traps will stay eccentrically loaded the whole time.
Rather than imposing rules and regulations on you for how exactly to sit, I want to give you a few tools that you can use throughout your day to best benefit YOUR body’s needs.
- Move around- walking around is best but that isn't always feasible. So try: ankle pumps, marching in place, bending and straightening your knees, cat-cow in your chair, wrist circles, shoulder circles, neck circles. Any movement that you can do to OPEN the front side of your body and RELAX the back side of your body.
- Change positions- if you sit with your legs crossed, fine, just make sure you switch legs every so often. Equal opportunities. Try moving your mouse to your left hand. Move your coffee or your water to the left side of your desk. Scooch forward in your chair. Lean back in your chair. Stand. Sit on a stool. Sit on a ball. Mix it up every 30 minute or so.
- Drink lots of H20. Not only will you feel better, but it will also force you to leave your desk to pee ;-)
- Listen to your body. I’ve treated thousands of people and dissected many cadavers so I can tell you for certain that no two of us are exactly a like. We are not symmetrical beings (I mean hello our lungs aren’t even symmetrical!). So do what feels best for you. But be sure to stay moving.
So, is sitting really the new smoking? Eh, not really. It is actually good for us to sit for certain things. Immobility is really more like the new sitting. It just doesn’t have quite as nice of a ring to it. DM me if you want to chat more about your posture and specific exercises for you.
Happy weekend. Get out and MOVE!