See this photo?
Yup. We’re going back in time.
The average person spends 8 hours in front of a screen, most of which is a computer screen. Think arms stretched forward, shoulders rounded, and usually head and neck follow. Add in the fact that most people forget to adequately stretch their upper body and WHAMO, you’ve got poor posture.
The effects of bad posture go far beyond just looking awkward. Poor posture can lead to chronic pain conditions including lower back pain and neck related headaches. For every inch that the head moves forward in posture, it can increase the weight of the head on the neck by 10 pounds! It also affects your breathing (think lung capacity) which in turn has an impact on your pulse and blood pressure.
Standing or sitting with poor posture can actually loosen the spine’s ligaments, causing a curve to develop over time.
- Try to sit and stand up straight to simply avoid deteriorating posture. Think ears over shoulders, shoulders over hips.
- Make your work space posture friendly. The top third of your computer monitor should be even with your eyes and the screen should be 18-24 inches from your face.
- Take a break! Move away from the computer – even if it’s just for a minute.
- Try to stretch regularly (especially your chest and neck muscles).
- Exercise often, and be sure to include a solid strength training program.