When bad posture has a hold on us
Sore back, stiff neck, and sensitive shoulders; sound familiar? Such discomforts are felt when you spend a lot of time sitting at your desk in the same position; you are working many muscles that are, unfortunately, weak. Such weak muscle tone is the source of these pains. A surprising fact: a weak musculature of the upper body, when combined with certain psychological factors like stress and tension, is sufficient to cause several underlying ailments, such as headaches, migraines, vertigo, and reduced mobility. Some good news is that physiotherapy can help you put into practice, in your daily routine, effective and easy ways designed to improve your posture and get rid of these pains that, far too often, can spoil your day.
Modern posture, modern pain
You are at the office. Following a full morning, you receive an email. As soon as you read the subject line, you immediately feel stressed. You lower your eyes to better read the screen, your shoulders curl, your neck gets stiff. Without even realizing it, you are exhibiting all the elements needed to create the perfect “bad posture at the office”. No worries: you are not alone and there are ways to help you. Firstly, to avoid muscle pains, you must straighten your upper body. Go ahead; sit at your desk and adjust your office equipment in order that:
- the top of the computer screen is at your eye level (use a monitor riser if necessary);
- your elbow is at the same level as the keyboard (the wrists must be straight, and the hands must be aligned with the forearms);
- your chest can open up and your shoulders, relax (supported forearms).
Then, B-R-E-A-T-H. Adopting the best possible position and appropriate breathing will provide you with many physical benefits, but also you will be able to concentrate better.
It’s normal to feel restless!
The body was not made to stay seated in the same position for long periods of time. Many corporations now understand this and have proposed alternative solutions for their employees allowing for better posture at the office. Amongst others, Swiss balls are used instead of chairs or even work areas that allow for both sitting and standing. For every 30 minutes spent sitting down at your desk, 5 minutes should be spent moving. Here are some ways that can certainly help you achieve this: print your documents at the furthest printer, take advantage of your lunch break to take a walk outside—even if only for a few minutes, it’s better than nothing! And do not hesitate to inquire about wellness offers or services provided by your company.
How to work out without injuries
Each person has their own objectives. However, to achieve optimal results by working out, your flexibility, strength and endurance levels must be equal. Depending on your age and the sport practiced, your physiotherapist will ask you some questions (about your history, diseases, lifestyle choices, etc.), then he or she will do a full evaluation of your body (posture, workout movements, injuries, etc.). Your physiotherapist’s mission is to help you with your pains in order for you to achieve your goals. If you suffer from pains that are related to bad posture at the office, you need to specifically strengthen the weak muscles of the neck. Your physiotherapist will suggest the best exercises and physical activity that are right for you so that you can achieve this balance of flexibility, strength, and endurance, and this, without pain.
K-Taping in the process of healing injuries and frequent pains
Remember one thing: strong or intense pains are never normal and must always be taken seriously. Long-term, they may develop into chronic pains which may result, in addition to physical pains, into underlying problems that may affect your mental health. Following an evaluation of your condition, the physiotherapist is specifically trained to help you adopt a good posture at the office and therefore reducing all kinds of tensions. By taking care of your body, you are caring for your spirit.
- Internationally licensed Physiotherapist, McGill University
- Member of l’Ordre Professionnel de la Physiothérapie du Québec
- K-Taping Specialist, K-Taping International Academy
- Back pain specialist, The Robin McKenzie Institute of Canada