Curejoy Expert James Dudley Explains:
What is good posture? While you may remember sitting up straight as a simple instruction from your primary school days, but in the present era it has become a serious health issue. A good posture is the definition of body positioning that favors the best functioning of all body parts. Such positioning balances the distribution of weight, putting the least strain in muscle, tendons, ligaments and bones.
Most people spend a large percentage of their time sitting down. Postural kyphosis (the extreme curvature of the upper back also known as a hunchback), is normally attributed to slouching. Thus sitting in a hunched position for long periods can have an adverse effect on your posture, failing to correct may have significant implications for the skeletal system. Without good posture, your overall health and total efficiency may be compromised
What are the (physical) risks of poor posture?
Many studies have affirmed a logical connection between posture and arthritis. For instance, a 2012 study of knee arthritis showed that people who already have arthritic knees are bigger leaners, and their gait is “consistently different” than people with healthy knees, and they probably weren’t walking differently because of pain. That is, it was not arthritis that was making them walk differently, but the crookedness probably caused the arthritic pain.
Perhaps a common misapprehension with sitting is that it doesn’t require any muscular effort, which is entirely false. While sitting on an office chair or your workstation, when people lean forward, a lot of stress builds up in our back muscles to hold up the body and to keep it from falling forward. In due course, this posture leads to the development of tight, rigid muscles and joints, which makes them more prone to injury. Thus the back muscles are always working to maintain the body in a vertical posture while sitting. For those who are constantly working for long periods of time at a computer slouching, the structures in the back suffer considerable strain.
To avoid the natural tendency to hunch forward while sitting these simple techniques can help in improving your posture:
Place a tennis ball between the middle back and the office chair on each side of the spine. Holding the tennis ball (or similar ball) in place while sitting and working at a computer accomplishes three things:
• Because the mind senses the ball, it remains connected with the body instead of being completely absorbed by what is on the computer screen. Maintaining more awareness of the body allows one to more easily maintain better posture.
• By leaning back into the tennis ball an acupressure effect is created, which stimulates blood flow into the area and physically releases contracted muscle and connective tissue. The pressure of the ball also creates a central nervous system mediated analgesic effect that is somewhat similar to acupuncture, loosening tight areas while sitting in the office chair and getting work done.
• Importantly, if one does get absorbed into work and starts to lean forward the tennis ball will fall out, serving as a concrete reminder to stop hunching forward and straining the back.