How Postural Adjustments Can Put Your Business In A Better Position
Humans weren’t built to sit at a desk for 8 -10 hours per day, but we do, and for some office workers the hours put in are ultimately paid for by our bodies.
When we are young this is something that never crosses our mind, it’s only later in life when we feel pain and discomfort in our bones and joints that we realise the impact of years of incorrect positioning.
There is lots of information littered over the web that can help you to position yourself correctly in relation to your work station.
I highly recommend that you learn how to align yourself properly at your desk and use what is out there. In addition to correctly aligning yourself at your desk, it’s important to consider other underlying factors that could be causing you to have aches and pains in the workplace.
1) The arches of your feet
Many people are surprised to hear that their lower back, knee and neck problems can actually stem from the arches of their feet. There are 3 types of arches as shown in the diagram below.
It is important to work out which foot type you have. If you have a normal arch then great, your body weight will be evenly distributed throughout your knees. If you have a low or a high arch then this could mean that your knee cap doesn’t track properly, resulting in the onset of early wear and tear in your joints. Another knock on effect of an imbalance in your lower body is that the rest of your body will try to compensate for this, causing further imbalances.
The best solution is to go and see a podiatrist, they will tell you what feet type you have if you’re unsure. If required, they will also provide you with some custom orthotics if your arches need correcting.
It is also important to wear suitable footwear during the day, always go for comfort over style. You might not like the “look” of trainers and office wear on the way to work, but it’s a better look than a set of arthritic knees in ten years time.
Hip muscle imbalance
Because we sit for so long in the day, our hip flexors become tighter and shorter.
When the hip flexors get tight and short, it actually rotates your hip out of place and inhibits muscles such as the glutes and abdominals while placing strain on the back extensors (lower back). When this happens your whole body is pulled out of alignment causing aches and other niggling problems.
If you find yourself in anterior pelvic tilt, then you need to correct it by stretching the tight muscles such as your hip flexors and back extensors, and strengthening the weak muscles such as the glutes and abdominals.
I recommend that you design a workout regime around these 4 principles, if you work on this for 30-45 minutes a couple of times per week you’ll see a difference in your sitting posture in no time.
Here are some useful links for exercises and stretching ideas for your correction regime.
Upper cross syndrome
Slumping over your desk constantly can create muscle imbalances in the upper body. A tell tale sign of upper cross syndrome is the rounded shoulder look.
As you can see from the diagram, the principles of the problem are very similar to hip imbalance, it is a combination of weak and tight muscles. This time the pectorals and upper trapezius are tight, while the lower trapezius and neck flexors are weak.
Stretch the pectorals and upper trapezius, and strengthen the lower trapezius and deep neck flexors. Here are some great links that you can build into a corrective program.
It is quite possible that you may have a combination of some or all of these aliments, which mean no matter how well you have your work station set up you will still experience aches and pains. The key is to get to the bottom of it by using this post as a guideline, if you suspect that you are having any of these issues please see your GP and get a referral to a specialist.
As always please check with your doctor before you participate in any new physical activity.