Many of us find ourselves sitting at a computer for our profession. Today we are going to break down proper ergonomics to promote healthy posture.
- Make sure your feet are flat on the ground, your head is on top of your shoulders, and your shoulders are on top of your hips. Make sure our head stays on top of your shoulders, preventing anterior head carriage. ***Think of a bowling ball. The more our head sits in front of our body, the heavier and harder it is to carry. That puts a lot of stress on our facets and onto our muscles. We want to keep that bowling ball (our head) on top of our shoulders.
- A lumbar support pillow helps create a healthy lumbar curve and protect your low back.
- If using multiple computer screens, make sure that your head is positioned straight at the computer screen. We don't want to be turning our heads in one position for a long period of time. The turned position will place stress into our facet joints.
- Play with the brightness of your computer screen. If it's too bright and you're finding yourself squinting, or if it's not bright enough, you may want to adjust the brightness. ***Blue light glasses can help take the stress off of your eyes.
We often sleep on our sides and curl up into a ball. This position puts a lot of stress on your neck. I recommend hugging a pillow, which will keep your head in line with your shoulders. I always use the big body pillow. Put the pillow between your legs, hug the pillow, keep your shoulders on top of one another, and keep your head on top of your shoulders. This will help take the stress off of the neck.
Cervical neck exercises can reduce stress placed into neck from repetitive sitting by strengthening and toning muscles that protect our neck joints, creating more space and decreasing compression.
Cervical Extension. Find a tall posture, both feet flat on the ground. Keep your head on top of your shoulders. Now, jut your chin back to make a double chin, keeping the same eye level, and then come back to the center. You should feel your deep neck flexors and mid back on fire. These are postural muscles to help create an erect posture. This can also be done seated.
Shoulder Squeeze. For the next stretch, find a tall posture or stand. Keeping your head on top of shoulders, squeeze your shoulder blades back and stretch the pectorals, keeping core tight and chin retracted.
Pec Minor Doorway Stretch. Stand in an open doorway with your hands flat on the outside of the doorframe, slightly above head-level. Lean into the doorway until you feel a stretch in your chest. Buckle your knees to increase the stretch and hold this stretch for 5-10 seconds as you take a couple of deep breaths. Relax and repeat as directed.
These three quick tools, posture, sleeping position, and strengthening should help with your neck pain! Thank you for allowing us to be part of your health journey.