Proper seated posture is important for keeping your body from being achy by the end of the day. A few good rules to follow include:
Seat height and width: A perfect chair would allow you to put your feet firmly on the floor or a sturdy foot rest. It should also allow you to support your low back on the back of the seat. If you are on the shorter side, you may need to supplement with a cushion or lumbar support to get the perfect fit.
Computer height and distance: Make sure that your eyes are level with the middle of your computer screen so you are not looking down with your head even slightly. Another common problem is that people will lean forward slightly with their head or shoulders in order to see the screen better. Instead, just move your computer screen closer to the edge of your desk or enlarge your font so you can read it easier.
Desk height: It should be comfortable for you to utilize your computer with your arms at a 90 degree angle to your desk. If your desk is too high or too low, it will put extra strain on your upper back and shoulders.
Twisting: Often people have work stations that are set up so you have a computer slightly to the side or in a corner where you have to twist your body and chair to be in a better position. Make sure that the majority of time you are working allows your spine to be in a straight, neutral position.
But even after you try all these modifications on how you sit, you may notice it is still uncomfortable or difficult to maintain a proper sitting position. Some common reasons for that include:
Forward head posture is displayed in people who have prolonged texting, computer, or phone use. This will weaken neck muscles and tightens upper trapezius to reduce range of motion. Spinal assessments of the neck and upper back are essential to correcting this poor posture finding. Sitting with your head forward one inch is equivalent to adding 10 extra pounds of pressure on the spine. This is a very common reason why people experience tension headaches!
Rounded shoulders are the most common posture finding because as humans we spend so much time sitting. This posture will cause weakness in the upper extremities and cause the neck to tighten up. At our office we address the spine where the neck and upper back meet, because often the nerves in this area are irritated. Many patients find a huge increase in strength, range of motion, and pain reduction as soon as this is fixed.
A slouched back while sitting is also common but easier to correct. Weak core muscles can result from this position. Doing strength exercises for the abdominal and lumbar spine muscles can help with this issue long term. Interestingly, alignment of the low back and pelvic area are essential to keeping your body in the proper sitting position. We often find tightness or fixation at the pelvis that people were not even aware was restricted.
Poor posture is a symptom (just like pain or dizziness). It tells us something with your nerves is impacting how you hold your body.
At Desired Health Chiropractic we do a full spine analysis as well as motion and posture assessment to determine if your alignment is affecting how your muscles work. Have you ever had a muscle knot that would not go away even if you had it worked on? This is because the muscle is told what to do by the nervous system and “knotting up” is a protective mechanism that happens when the surrounding nerves are irritated.
If you notice that you or your children have horrible posture, come in and get an assessment to see where the issues are stemming from. Call us today 763-205-6192.