[ UPDATED ] 13.01.21
The Coronavirus pandemic has affected people in many different ways. In the Panacea Physiotherapy clinic I have seen a lot of posture related aches and pains. Many people are now spending hours every day sitting at their home desk, without an office environment to encourage a bit of movement and change in position.
Postural weakness, generally, is often caused by weak core muscles. This could be due to poor posture, repetitive positions and daily tasks such as prolonged periods of sitting at a desk. Postural weakness can present as aching in the back and shoulders, especially worse with prolonged standing or unsupported sitting positions. The aching can worsen as the day goes on and the muscles tire.
Physiotherapy can really help with these symptoms and postural weakness. We can provide a full assessment and determine the cause of the symptoms. We can then provide advice, treatment and muscle retraining.
We all catch ourselves with bad posture and some of us will consciously try to correct it the best way we know how. When I treat clients and ask them to correct their slouched posture, often people have a tendency to over correct it and arch their lower back and lift their chin into the air. This is a common misconception of "correct" posture.
The correct and best posture when sitting at a desk is to:
1. Have your feet hip-width apart with equal weight through both feet
2. Make sure your bottom is at the back of the chair and that your hips are slightly higher than your knees.
3. Your eye line should be midpoint on your computer screen and your screen about an arms length away from you.
4. Find a neutral lumbar position by rolling forward and backward on your sitting bones, feel how far you go in both movements and come to a midway point between the two.
5. Lengthen your spine from the pelvis all the way to the crown of your head, opening up wide through the collar bones while keeping your chin tucked in a little by lengthening the back of your neck.
6. Make sure that your forearms and wrists are supported when you are using your keyboard.
Have a try. It looks 'wordy' when written down but by following these simple steps, focusing hard and making these small corrections, you really can maintain a good posture.
Try to do it little and often to consciously get your body and mind more aware of good posture. This really will help to strengthen your postural muscles.
If in doubt or you’re not sure whether you are doing it right, please feel free to contact me for an assessment and further help moving forward. There is also a Panacea Pilates video on my blog page to help improve posture.