The Perfect Posture – Does It Exist?

Back Pain Sitting

Have you ever experienced lower back pain when standing up after sitting too long? Have you ever experienced neck tightness after staring at the computer screen for too long? You may also experience headaches or shoulder pain as the work day goes on. Solution: You need to MOVE.

I am often asked ‘What is the best posture for me at work?’. This has evolved from the sustained sitting position required for most administrative/office based work places.

Standing Work StationThe number of standing workstations and adjustable workstations are steadily increasing and seem to be consistent with a new type of presentation, which is described as ‘my lower back/neck becomes sore and achy when I stand too long’.

Despite advances in technology and workplace health and safety, there is one element that has not changed. Humans are not moving at work. We insist on staying still for long periods of time and we are not designed for it. We are designed to move.

It does not matter if you are sitting or standing. It does not matter which posture your adopt. If you don’t move, you will slowly load up certain parts of the body and they will become sore.

There is a cumulative effect as well. The load will slowly increase during the day. As the week goes on, the soreness will come on earlier and earlier in the day. And of course, over the weekend, you will feel great because you are moving more.

This has led me to develop what I call the Static Mobility Principle, which, in it’s simplest form, is a number of small, regular movements and stretches you can perform while sitting or standing at the desk. They are also great for those of you who travel by air and are stuck on planes regularly. In fact, any situation, work or social, where you are stuck sitting or standing, can be made a whole lot easier by ‘static mobility’ exercises.

Bow and ArrowsOne of my favorite Static Mobility exercises, and one of the easiest ones to perform, are the bow and arrows. While sitting, imagine you are drawing back on a bowstring, like an archer. Go as far back as you can, then change sides and draw back with the other arm. Repeat this 10 times on each side. It will only take 30 seconds. (Bow and arrows may not be appropriate for your specific condition. Please check with your physiotherapist before performing bow and arrows).

This will get the shoulder muscles, chest muscles, upper back muscles and neck muscles moving. And the great thing is, you do not have to leave your chair or workstation.

Of course there are many more ‘static mobility’ exercises you can do, and at Leading Edge, we tailor them specifically for your presentation ensuring they are appropriate and safe for your presentation.

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mm About James Trotter

James Trotter is a Sports Physiotherapist based in Adelaide, South Australia. James has been to two Olympic Games as a Australian Team Physiotherapist and has a special interest in shoulder rehabilitation and works with Water Polo and Australian Rules Football at an elite level.

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