With computer work being an unavoidable part of most of our daily lives, we are seeing an increasing number of patients with postural strain in the neck and upper back. These are also common areas to carry stress and tension from daily life. Pro tip: If you correct one part of your body the rest of the body will begin to follow, realigning your spine and improving posture.
Here are a few exercises to improve your posture whether you are sitting or standing. Start by locating your shoulder blades (also known as your wings). Notice that they are reverse triangle shaped bones and may be near the top of your upper back. Once you know where they are, try to engage the muscles below your shoulder blades and bring them downward. It is important not to roll your shoulders backward or pinch your shoulder blades together. Try to engage those muscles and hold your shoulder blades down for about 20 seconds every hour to help reduce tension. We recommend setting a timer while you’re working on the computer to remind you- keep those wings down! You can also do this exercise in the car while stopped at a red light, at the movie theater, or anytime you’re feeling a build up of tension. Sitting for long stretches is not easy on your body and taking a break to stretch and walk around is healthy and beneficial!
So go ahead…get up, walk around, and feel the benefits!
With activities that we do on a day-to-day basis like; computer work, driving, cooking, and exercising that require use of the arms and hands, we have a tendency to unnecessarily involve the upper shoulder muscles which causes excess tension and pain. This is the perfect time to start using the new postural exercises you’ve learned. By bringing those shoulder blades down, you are able to use your arms without stressing the upper shoulders.