Tips for postural health
1. Let’s get physical!
Something we hear all the time is that we should all be stretching more. It no longer seems to be an issue of education as most people are aware that regular stretching of the correct muscles can go a long way to correcting poor posture. There are key muscles that are commonly short and tight that our posture could benefit from that are especially prevalent in Western Society (typically desk bound workers). These muscles have a tendency to get tight due to the excessive sitting that our jobs often require us to do.
Pec stretch – This is a stretch to lengthen the pectoral muscles (chest muscles). It’s important that these are stretched properly on a regular basis to help allow the shoulders to remain in a neutral position. This will go a long way to ensuring correct movement and function through the thoracic and cervical spine (mid-upper spine) as well as the shoulder joint itself
Psoas stretch – Psoas (pronounced so-az), is our strongest hip flexor and therefore has the most control over our lower back and hip posture. If this one gets tight it can create a ‘duck bum’ posture, known as an anterior pelvic tilt. This leads to a dysfunctional lower back/pelvis posture and if often the cause of low back pain
2. E.T. foam home
We’re often pulled into poor posture by muscles that are short and tight. This is why we regularly feel like we have to force good posture. Good posture shouldn’t have to be forced because it’s how the body best operates. To achieve good posture a foam roller or trigger point balls (tennis balls are adequate for beginners) can be very useful. I like to keep mine in the lounge room so I can watch t.v. while I roll my tired, aching muscles back to health.
Rolling the hip flexors – As you can see here using the foam roller isn’t necessarily the most elegant way to release short and tight tissue but it is a great way to be able to do some homework between sessions and kick-start your body back to great musculoskeletal health.
3. Variety is the spice of life
Although not everyone has time to attend a Yoga or Pilates session daily we do all have time to change from our resting position at work. It doesn’t matter how busy you are at work you should always be able to make time to get up, do a quick lap around the office, stand up and sit down a few times, drink some water and be ready to refocus on the task at hand. If it helps, try making a list of what you will do in your break so as soon as you clock off you can run through your sequence of positions countering that of what you are primarily doing for the rest of the day.