Today computers in the workplace and at home have become very commonplace and many of us have developed very bad chair posture. Eighty percent of Americans have problems with back pain or pain in their neck and shoulders as a result of hours sitting in front of a computer.
Bad posture not only can cause back pain but it can also reduce our lung capacity, create more stress on your spine, cause more muscular tension and even make your body more susceptible to injury. Bad chair posture can even lead to a feeling of dejection and to depression.
I know because I also slouch in front of my computer in a forward drawn position not using good posture. When I have been sitting for long periods of time, I actually ache and my muscles are a little stiff from the slouching.
Our muscles have memory, which means that over a long period of time we teach our muscles bad posture. I know how to improve posture but I have trained my body over the years to slouch. Very few have perfect posture so we need to learn how to improve posture and get rid of that back, neck and shoulder pain.
How Do You Improve Your Posture?
This is a 30 second exercise that you should try to do as often as you can while sitting in front of your computer to retrain your muscles back to good posture.
- Sit on the very edge of your chair with your feet at shoulder width apart and flat on the floor.
- Pretend like there is a string from the top of your head running up to the ceiling and that it is pulling your head straight up.
- Also pretend that as the string is pulling upward so that the each vertebrae is separating bring back the natural curve of your spine.
- Now you should tuck your chin in to your neck as much as you possibly can.
- Take a long, deep breath (as deep as you can) and hold it while you bring your shoulder blades together as if you are trying to hold a pencil between them.
- Hold this position for twenty seconds and then slowly release your breath.
- Now relax completely.
You should feel the relaxation feeling flow through your body even after the first time. After you have done this stretching and relaxing exercise a few times, it will become more natural for you. After some time, you will slowly change your muscle memory and bring back that perfect posture.
Using the above exercise, I am slowly developing better chair posture and not feeling the back pain after sitting for a long time. Also, be sure to get up often and just walk around a little.
We need to be more aware of ergonomics in the workplace and at home as we spend so many hours in front of that computer. We need to make time in our busy lives to exercise. Also, try this simple exercise often to improve your chair posture and to improve your overall sense of well-being.