Is there a perfect posture? If you are short of time the answer is no! But…the honest answer is it depends.
In the hustle and bustle of modern-day life, where hours are spent hunched over desks or screens, and the sedentary lifestyle is prevalent, the importance of posture often takes a backseat. Yet, our posture is more than just the way we carry ourselves; it is a dynamic aspect of our health that influences various physiological and psychological processes. From the way we sit at our desks to how we stand in line, every posture adopted has a ripple effect on our overall well-being.
Consider a patient of mine. Let’s call her Cindy. Cindy spends 8-10 hours each day sitting and/or standing at a desk, engrossed in her work. At first, she would complain of the occasional neck or low back pain or stiffness. But over time the frequency and intensity has gradually increased to an everyday occurrence. Does this sound familiar? Is poor posture the culprit? Well….sorta.
First off, as I stated above there is no perfect posture. But there are better postures depending on your everyday activities, your body type, daily habits, etc.! But there is no perfect posture for every individual.
So what is the issue?
The issue is not about having “perfect” posture which does not exist. But remaining in one posture for prolonged periods of time. I am not saying that hunching over a computer is good per se. It is simply that most of us are spending too much time looking down at our computer or phone for hours at a time which biomechanically puts the weight of our head in a forward position. This can lead to neck, upper back pain, and headaches. Not to mention the effect it can have on the lower back in certain individuals.
Look, I get it. We have to work. Computers and phones are here to stay. These positions are obviously unavoidable as they are a part of our lives now. So, what can we do to mitigate the negative effects of these prolonged postures?
MOVE! Move often. Change positions or take a break every hour on a workday if possible. Get up, move around, stretch. Do the opposite of whatever it is that you are doing. Change your position! YOUR BEST POSTURE IS YOUR NEXT POSTURE.
Remember. Your body is meant to move. It is a dynamic structure that craves motion.
Here is a simple exercise I gave to Cindy and a lot of my desk jockeys to use throughout the workday to help manage the effects of sitting hunched over a computer all day!
Here is how you do it: