At work many of us work at a computer. It is common for many people to slouch their shoulders forward and have their head too far forward. The lumbar region or low back area is slouched forward as well.
The picture above is from the website: www.dreamstime.com It shows bad posture in sitting.
If the head is too far forward looking at the computer screen the back of the neck joints are compressed and the muscles are in a shortened position. For a couple of minutes it feels good. Then after a few minutes the back of the neck will be quite sore and tight and it can lead to what is called subocciptal region headaches and even refer pain down into the shoulder blade regions.
With the shoulders being so far forward the middle trapezius muscles in the back are being underutilized profoundly.
With the lumbar region/low back region it is in a flexed position and it causes increased pressure on the intervertebral discs. The hip flexors are also in a shortened position and can compress the spine indirectly by pulling the pelvis forward.
What are the answers to correct this posture?
The picture above is from the website: sielearning.tafensw.edu.au
This picture shows an ideal position of sitting at the computer for many people.
2 exercises that can help the neck and upper back be in a more ideal sitting posture are below:
- Middle trapezius exercise. Pull the band back and squeeze the shoulder blades together. Perform 30 x , 2 sets, 5 x a week for 6 to 8 weeks.
2. Neck extensor exercises. Push your head back into the ball 10 x, perform 2 sets, 5 x a week, 6 to 8 weeks.
A sidenote is that if you have a lumbar herniated disc you should actually lean back 135 degrees according to the British Journal of Medicine. It can relieve pressure on the spine.
- Scottish and Canadian researchers used a new form of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to show it places an unnecessary strain on your back.
- They told the Radiological Society of North America that the best position in which to sit at your desk is leaning back, at about 135 degrees. BBC.com health section – the discs have less pressure on them in this position