5 Tips to improve your posture on the job plus a stretch video using the foam roller
The postures and movements we make with our bodies on a regular basis have a profound affect on our overall posture and can prevent or cause discomfort, aches and pains. When we are not maintaining optimal posture, we cause muscle imbalances and decreased elasticity in our muscles. A lot of tension is placed on the vertebrae when we don’t make a conscious effort to support it. This tension can eventually lead to the “hump” in the upper back over time. We don’t always experience the decreased range of motion or pain caused by our poor posture in the moment, however, it can show up later in the day or even months or years later.
I drive A LOT! I am in the car driving from one client to the next and one studio to the next. Over time, I noticed my left side of my body had decreased range of motion when I side stretch over to the right. I finally realized it is because I always drive with my left hand while leaning into my right hip. If you were to try and place your body in that position, you would notice your entire left side waist shorten. It took some time to reverse this, however, I was successful. I stretched it everyday, used a foam roller, and changed my habits! I now use both hands to drive and try to sit evenly on both sits bones.
Our bodies experience pattern overload from repetitive physical activity that moves through the same patterns of motion, placing the same stresses on the body over a period of time. The movements we make in our profession often cause pattern overload because we are repeating the same positions or movements on a regular basis and this places abnormal stresses on the body.
If you spend a lot of time driving, on the computer, on your smart phone, or working on a patient/client (beauticians, doctors, dentists, nurses, etc.), you’re arms are out in front of your body a lot and you may also be leaning forward at the same time. This is a perfect example of pattern overload. Pattern overload may cause micro spasms in your muscles. Knots are formed in the muscle tissue as a result of these muscle spasms, locking up the muscles and reducing the elasticity. The result is muscle imbalance, excessive tension, joint stress, decreased range of motion and poor posture and alignment.
It’s hard to prevent our selves from being in these positions when it is part of our reality. However, we can be more conscious and try to improve our posture while driving, on the computer, on our phones or working on a patient, etc. It is essential to address this with flexibility training as well. I have provided 5 tips to help you improve your posture on the job and a Stretch Video to do on a daily basis with a foam roller.
Here are 5 tips to improve your posture and reduce neck and back tension.
- Ears over your shoulders when you are sitting or standing upright. If you have to lean forward, don’t let your head hang, draw your ears back so they are in line with your shoulders. Your neck should always be an extension of your spine. When you drop your head, you automatically place tension on your back and neck.
- Imagine holding an orange under your chin: Sometimes we jut our chin forward or raise the chin and shorten the back of the neck. Holding the orange will help keep the head neutral.
- Pull your shoulders back and then down; anchoring them in your back pockets: This will engage your back muscles and support your spine whether you are leaning over or sitting upright. It will also help to keep your shoulders out of your ears. Most of the time, we raise our shoulders when we are working with our arms our in front of us. Using your back muscles to keep your shoulders down away from your ears will help release the tension in the neck.
- Keep your heart lifted when you are sitting upright. Lift your heart to the sky. If you are leaning over, don’t let your heart sink, reach it out in front of you. It will help keep you from collapsing in the chest.
- Your arms are attached to your BACK! When using your arms, keep in mind they are attached to your back and try to engage your back muscles to utilize your arms. This will refrain you from engaging your chest and neck muscles all day, causing the muscle imbalance, which pulls your shoulders forward.
Check out this Foam Roller Stretch Video to help improve your posture on the job. You will release tension in the back and neck while stretching the back, chest, and shoulders! The foam roller is an amazing tool used for flexibility training to help release tension throughout the body. It feels so good! Foam rolling helps to improve muscle imbalances and altered joint motion, which occur as a result of pattern overload. In the video, I am rolling muscles over a foam roller using body pressure to massage micro-adhesions in the muscle tissue.
If you want to try it out, you can purchase the foam roller here on our online store via Amazon. I will be providing more videos to show you how to use it on other areas of your body as well!
Disclaimer: Please check with your doctor and have it cleared before beginning any new exercise or diet program. I am in no way a doctor or registered dietician, my blog is opinion based and I do not claim to diagnose, treat, or cure any cause, condition or disease. All information provided is for informational purposes only; it is not medical advice and has not been approved by the FTC or FDA. Please always communicate with your doctor to make any decisions or changes regarding your health, as your doctor is the only one who knows what is right for you.