Written by Amanda
There is no perfect posture – Your best posture is your next one! Meaning that movement and change is the key here.
We are designed to move
Our body doesn’t like being stuck in one position for long, we are designed to move – but for various reasons we are generally more inactive than we would like to be – stuck behind a computer or on a device, or maybe sitting for prolonged periods feeding babies.
Why do I get pain?
Often we may feel neck or back stiffness after periods of immobility. Sometimes even experience pain when we move from being in one place for too long – without having done anything to ‘injure’ the area. A simple way to understand why we can feel pain or stiffness in our back or neck after sitting for too long is to do the following:
- Get your little finger (assuming you don’t have any issues with your finger!), and stretch it backwards as far as it goes – to where you feel a stretch/tightness.
- Hold it there for 20-30 seconds
- On releasing try to wiggle your finger
What you will likely feel is stiffness and some difficulty moving the finger joints and maybe even a bit of pain!
This is because your finger has been held in one position for a time, the joint and other structures have gotten used to this position and when you move away from it, it takes some time to adjust and move freely.
Your back and neck are really no different to your finger joint – They don’t like being in one position for too long! So sometimes that pain or stiffness is just because your body is complaining that you haven’t moved enough!
Sometimes we can’t get up from the desk, or we are holding our little ones while they sleep and so are stuck to the couch or chair! But you can still move or change your position in your chair.
How can we help our posture?
Remember change is key – even a subtle change in your position will help – moving from the front to the back of the chair will help. It’s better than nothing!
Try a rotation stretch in the chair – sitting tall, reach around, hold the back of the chair and gently twist, repeating a few times each way.
Try an extension stretch in the chair – Reach up with your arms high, hold them together and reach backwards up over your head to arch your body backwards.
End of day activity
And at the end of the day when you may have a bit more time you can also use a roller/towel extension stretch shown in this video below, which is great at opening up your chest, getting you away from that slouched sitting position.
And whenever you can take the opportunity to get up off the chair or couch & move that body!
Helpful stretch for the end of the day:
Please share this with someone that you think will benefit from a little pep talk to get moving or help their posture!