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  • Writer's picturejodi arnott

"Perfect" Posture

Here’s the thing about PERFECT posture- there’s no such thing! (Ok, the posture I’m in for this photo below isn’t ideal….or very natural…. but I didn’t stay that way for long!)

EveryBODY’s different, and we all stand or sit in slightly different ways. That’s ok. What isn’t ok, is feeling ongoing back pain or neck stiffness or nagging shoulder tension from sitting or standing all day long. Is the problem your posture? Or maybe it’s the ALL DAY LONG part?

For me, it’s less about correcting posture and more about learning your position and movement PATTERNS. What positions are you in most? What positions do you avoid? Why are you avoiding them? Are there positions that feel better or worse? How long do you STAY in the same position?

So much information can be gained by the answers to these questions and can be used to create a specific, targeted treatment and plan to help you feel better.

With more people working from home, there may be less opportunities for movement and a bigger chance you don’t have the “perfect” work station set up. But the key is MOVEMENT. Move MORE. Change POSITIONS often. (that's oversimplified, but you get the point)

Some quick TIPS:

  1. When sitting, try using a lumbar roll. This can be purchased, or as simple as a rolled up towel, to add extra support to the nature curve of your back.

  2. MOVE every 30 minutes. Even if you only have time to physically stand for a minute or two. This helps prevent that cumulative tissue strain that creeps up from staying in one position for too long.

  3. If you have a sit-stand desk, switch it up. The purpose is to change positions (not to go from sitting all day to standing all day).

  4. Scan your work station at home. Ideally your computer screen should be at eye level, your feet should sit flat on the floor and not tucked under your chair, and your shoulders should feel relaxed. If your screen or mouse is too far away, bring it closer to you. This will help you avoid jutting your chin forward see better.

  5. Don’t overcorrect your posture (aka sticking your chest out and pulling your shoulders back). Instead, visualize a string at the top of your head that is pulling you up. This helps bring your chin back and decreases forward head posture (taking stress off of your neck, shoulder and upper back muscles).

  6. I’m guilty of this, but try not to work through your lunch break. Use that time to move, eat and drink, go for a walk, or get outside.

And if you have aches or pains or stiffness from work, or stress, or posture, get some help! We all need a little support sometimes : )

Jodi Arnott, Owner and Registered Physiotherapist

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