We all know that posture is important, but do we know what good posture is supposed to look like? Is there really a perfect posture that will help us ward off future injury and discomfort?
Well, not really.
But we do have concepts we can integrate into our lives that give us guidelines on how to literally carry ourselves.
Here are five ways that you can adjust your posture and decrease your risk for pain and disability.
- Sit up straight - If you have to sit, there are a few key ideas to keep in mind. Sit up tall, tilt your hips forward, and try to relax through your chest; this can help to reduce the strain on your intervertebral discs and reduce your risk of back pain (3).
- Mix it up - even the best posture for extended periods can increase strain through the body and even decrease work performance (1). Changing your position often can combat this. This includes but is not limited to shifting your hips, stretching your legs, or even standing up to work if a sit-to-stand desk is available.
- Take frequent breaks - the best way to improve your posture is to move and get out of a sitting position altogether. Walking breaks every 20 or 30 minutes is a great way to use different muscles and give the postural muscles a break to prevent fatigue and strain.
- Consider ergonomic changes - your work setup can also increase your risk of strain and discomfort. Keeping a screen at eye level can decrease strain in your neck, and keeping your keyboard at an appropriate height can reduce tension in the shoulders. Adjusting your chair or desk is a good way to improve overall sitting comfort.
- Exercise often - increasing your overall strength can improve the endurance of postural muscles and prevent fatigue. Once these muscles fatigue, one may increase the reliance on passive structures to support their posture, which is a possible cause of pain (1). Exercise has numerous other benefits, including but not limited to improving brain function by increasing oxygen uptake and blood flow.
While this is not an exhaustive list, these points may help you improve your comfort with work or leisure activities. If you do begin to experience pain, one of our skilled physical therapists can help guide you in decreasing this pain and returning to a more comfortable experience whether its sitting, standing, or hiking around in the Pacific Northwest.
Creekside Physical Therapy Has 3 Convenient Locations in Portland, Oregon
Message us now to get scheduled with one of our Physical Therapists at any of our locations:
Tigard - Oleson: 9115 SW Oleson Rd, Ste. #206 Portland, Oregon, 97223
Tigard - Locust: 9445 S Locust St., Tigard, Oregon, 97223
Cedar Mill: 12400 NW Cornell Rd, Ste. #200 Portland, Oregon, 97229
- Baker R, Coenen P, Howie E, Williamson A, Straker L. The Short Term Musculoskeletal and Cognitive Effects of Prolonged Sitting During Office Computer Work. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Aug 7;15(8):1678. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15081678. PMID: 30087262; PMCID: PMC6122014.
- Bontrup C, Taylor WR, Fliesser M, Visscher R, Green T, Wippert PM, Zemp R. Low back pain and its relationship with sitting behaviour among sedentary office workers. Appl Ergon. 2019 Nov;81:102894. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2019.102894. Epub 2019 Jul 15. PMID: 31422243.
- In TS, Jung JH, Jung KS, Cho HY. Spinal and Pelvic Alignment of Sitting Posture Associated with Smartphone Use in Adolescents with Low Back Pain. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Aug 7;18(16):8369. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18168369. PMID: 34444119; PMCID: PMC8391723.