By Margie Lamir-Heger, Director of Physical Therapy
Dedham Health and Athletic Complex
Do you jut your chin forward to see the computer screen better? Are your shoulders rounded and upper back flexed forward in a slouch? These positions can lead to shortening of the chest and anterior shoulder muscles and corresponding lengthening of the upper back muscles. This imbalance can lead to degenerative changes, stiffness and pain. As the upper back rounds, known as thoracic kyphosis, we begin to lose motion in our shoulders. This is known as flexion.
Most of us can’t give up our day jobs, so how do we avoid this? It’s time for a posture check! While sitting in a chair, lift both arms up overhead so that your arms are lined up with your ears. Take the arch out of your lower back, then gently lower your arms back down to your sides without altering your new head neck position. This is your ideal posture.
Old habits die hard, so you should perform this self-correction every 30 min.
While at t the gym, be certain you are working those upper back or postural muscles. Rowing exercises, lat pulls, and plant positions are some good examples. As your back strength improves, it becomes easier to hold good posture. Before you know it, that painful slouch is gone!
Have any other exercises you can do at your desk or at the office? Let us know in the comments below!