BAD POSTURE SUCKS
Many will be aware that as a result of poor posture we can elicit back pain, but the symptoms don’t stop there. Poor posture can also cause:
Headaches (Caused by extra strain on posterior muscles from holding your head in that position)
Lack of energy
Lower back pain
Carpal tunnel (A pinching of the nerves)
Kyphotic shoulders (rounding of upper back like Quasimodo!)
Forward head posture AKA the Turtle neck
THAT’S A LOT OF PROBLEMS!
Nobody wants to intentionally put themselves into bad health, but we are routinely demanding our bodies to endure for long periods of the day in suboptimal positions, and the biggest culprit is the modern office lifestyle.
Spending 8 hours a day glued to a computer screen, and more than likely hunched over your phone for many of your recreational hours, it’s hard to avoid falling victim to poor posture.
Not only that, but body language makes up a whopping 55% of our entire communication, where-as tonality only makes up 38%, and words only account for a measly 7%!
That means your non-verbal, slumped shoulders and bad posture in your day-to-day living, are more than likely affecting your chances in social situations such as romance, job opportunities, child rearing, all manner of relationships, and your place in a social hierarchy in general.
But you can’t stop using these screens. Like them or not, they are the modern world and you need to adapt.
IRON STRONG POSTURE
What you need are exercises and stretches that can give you an iron strong posture, that can withstand the daily toll of daily office living.
Here I’m going to share with you a quick 3 minute routine that you can do seated at your desk, or standing up that will help to build the musculature in your core and upper body, as well as stretch out the tightened areas for more range of motion, and optimal spinal positioning.
3 MINUTE ROUTINE:
1. CHIN TUCKS
- HOW IT LOOKS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1v9e8PdmqEI
- HOW MANY: Do 5 repetitions and hold each for 3 seconds and hold in the double chin position before relaxing, an doing the next repetition
2. NECK PRESS
- HOW IT LOOKS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAlJ9I_ytvw
- HOW MANY: Hold this move for 10 seconds
3. FACE PULLS
- HOW IT LOOKS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFxMixk_qPQ
- HOW MANY: do 10 repetitions of this exercise. The rop- Just like in the following video, but without the rope. Instead you’re just pulling an imaginary rope in each hand and squeezing the shoulder blades together
4. ROTATOR CUFF EXTERNAL ROTATIONS
- HOW IT LOOKS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yt3CpkmFAfc Go to 1 minute, 12 seconds of this video
- HOW MANY: 10 repetitions each arm. No resistance band is needed- simply keep your elbows tucked in tight to your to torso, and rotate from the elbows
5. CHEST OPENERS
- HOW MANY: 10 repetitions
6. SHOULDER ROLLS
- HOW IT LOOKS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVXK4DUoSj8
- HOW MANY: 5 forwards & 5 backwards
7. NECK STRETCH 1
- HOW IT LOOKS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mqFQC68Zng Go to 1 minute, 35 seconds of this video
- HOW MANY: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yt3CpkmFAfc
8. NECK STRETCH 2
- HOW IT LOOKS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yt3CpkmFAfc Go to 2 minutes, 22 seconds of this video
- HOW MANY: 10 seconds each side
9. BACK & CHEST STRETCH
- HOW IT LOOKS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yt3CpkmFAfc Go to 4 minutes, 12 seconds of this video
- HOW MANY:- 10 seconds each
10. CHAIR TWISTS
- HOW IT LOOKS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwAkRrqbXo8
- HOW MANY: 10 second hold each side
11. SIDE STRETCH
- HOW MANY: 10 seconds each side
- Walk for 1 extra minute around the office- grab a drink of water as you do.
HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH THIS ROUTINE?
Ease into it. 3 minutes might not seem like much time, but even doing it just once a day, everyday, is a real challenge. You may be tempted to ‘fix all your problems’ by doing them as often as possible, but from my experience, rushing in never works. Any habit worth having takes time, so try and engrain it consistently first, before attempting to make it multiple times a day.
SLOW & STEADY WINS THE REACE WHEN IT COMES TO BUILDING LASTING HABITS
If you do feel that you should do more from the start, or you have built up to it, then I would recommend keeping some sort of relative structure, by doing them at the same time every day. That way, they just become a scheduled routine rather than a spontaneous act only whenever you casually remember, or you start to feel aches and pains in your back/shoulders/neck, etc…
You might try doing these exercises twice a day, e.g. 11am and 3pm, or you could even do them once an hour, every hour.
Don’t be a slave to this routine. By that I mean that these are all great exercises and stretches, but if you find that one of them makes you feel a little uncomfortable or even exposed to the entire office, then it’s better to mint those exercises, than to just chuck in the whole routine.
It’s worth bearing in mind that people may notice you at first, but just like the mundane world of office life, the novelty of you stretching and doing something different will very quicky become as reliable, and uninteresting to everyone else as going up for another coffee and checking emails, so don’t be put off.
That’s all from me. If you enjoyed this piece then I’d love if you’d subscribe to my Instagram: @thefoodandbodycoach.