Fitness Friday – Perfecting Posture
We’re all guilty of it, the way we start to hunch over when we’re sitting or standing in one position too long. Even the way some of us are constantly looking down at our smart phones is ruining our posture. One of our current Physical Therapy students, Kevin Capata, focused on our posture and how to correct it, then presented it to us during an in-service on Wednesday. Kevin even created an easy to print handout with key points to help us to remember what to do and what not to do!
The following is some of the content from Kevin’s handout, stop in the clinic to receive the full printed version!
Why NOT sit all day?
“Recent studies show that too much sitting contributes to a host of diseases—from obesity and diabetes to cancer and depression—and literally shortens your life. “ www.fitness.mercola.com
If you HAVE to sit all day…
Make sure you are NOT sitting in a forward head posture or that your shoulders and back aren’t rounded.
“For every inch your head moves forwards, it gains 10 pounds in weight.” -Kapandji (Physiology of the Joints, Volume III)
“Forward head posture (FHP) may result in the loss of 30% of vital lung capacity.” – Rene Cailliet M.D
Excessive compressive loads upon the upper thoracic vertebra. “A recent study found this hyperkyphotic posture was associated with a 1.44 greater rate of mortality.”
Mobilization & Stretching Strategies
Here are some great tips to get you up and moving throughout the day and get in some good stretches right at your desk.
-Every 30-45 minutes of sitting = 5 minutes of stretching/mobilizing
-Set an alarm or timer for every 20-30 minutes to remind you to change positions.
-Find an alternative position to work in. Kneel in front of desk, stretch while sitting at your computer, walk down a hall with a headset to answer calls, etc.
Here are some alternative positions suggestions!
No standing desk available?
Don’t worry! Use a towel/soft pad under your knee and kneel at your desk, alternating legs every few minutes.
High/Low chairs are great Hang one leg off at a time, switching sides, between standing or sitting.
Stretch WHILE working! This is a great way to “kill two bird with one stone.” This is just one example. Remember to be creative, do further research or consult your Physical Therapist for further guidance!
How to sit, if you HAVE to!
-Find and understand your braced and neutral position
-Get reorganized every 15-20 minutes! No one can, nor should, keep the same position longer than that!
-While that seems easier said than done and a pain in the “butt” to frequently change positions, the real pain will be in the “butt” and elsewhere if you do not make the effort!
-Do NOT just get up and stand (with neutral spine as show in “Good Posture” in the image to the left) a few moments and sit back down. Stand up, stretch, mobilize muscles and tissues that are tight, restore neutral spine then perform the “Bracing Sequence.” See steps for the “Bracing Sequence” below.
Step 1: The purpose is to align your hip bones with your spine.
Step 2: Rib cage down = (use hand/thumb rule shown in sitting picture to the left.) Place thumb on chest and other on belly button with palms facing down. They should be stacked on top of one another no matter how you lean forward or backward to prevent poor posture.
Step 3: You should always be prepared for the “belly wack” test. If someone were to come lightly smack you in the belly, you should be able to brace the impact.
Step 4: Chin tuck (give yourself a slight double chin) and keep head on top of shoulders, which should NOT be rounded forward.
San Luis Sports Therapy- Paso Robles
1345 Park St
Paso Robles, CA 93446
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