Stop what you’re doing! Straighten your back, press your shoulders down, and put your feet flat on the floor. Do you feel a difference?
The digital age has us constantly hunched over keyboards, slumped over tablets, and bent at computers for nearly 10 to 15 hours a day at work, school, and home. We seem to have forgotten all those warnings of, “Don’t slump or you’ll get your grandmother’s hump!” over the years (although you can surely still hear echoes of your mother’s voice reminding you for the umpteenth time to sit up straight). These days, 85% of Americans have experienced or will experience back or neck pain in their lives. A great deal of back, neck, and even shoulder pain can be attributed to poor posture. In fact, the second most common reason for doctor’s visits is back pain.
In addition to leading largely sedentary lifestyles, we are also carrying heavier backpacks, purses, and briefcases and performing long hours of largely repetitive work. All of these factors contribute to the poor posture plaguing our nation.
So how can you put an end to the madness? The most important thing to remember is to pay attention to your body. You can feel when your straight back curves into a slouch. The minute your muscles start to give way to improper posture, it’s time to get on your feet. A few minutes standing, walking, or stretching will give your back the break it sorely needs.
Investing in a foot rest to tuck under your desk could help you sit more comfortably at the office. You could even tote along a small pillow or towel to cushion your office chair or car seat with.
Another preventative measure is to make sure any computer you use is set up in a way that minimizes neck strain. Position your home and work computer screens according to your natural resting eye level. You shouldn’t have to crane your neck up or down to get a good look at your screen.
Be sure to exercise regularly. Physical activity practiced in the proper way promotes good posture. You should also make sure to wear comfortable, supportive footwear. Women shouldn’t make a habit of wearing high heels to the office as these throw off your natural center of gravity. The added height can really do some damage to your spine!
All in all, it’s important to listen to your body in order to ensure you are pain-free.
We feel like we have the best physical therapists around. Did you know you don’t need a referral to get help from a Physical Therapist? Direct access is available for you, please call us and set up an evaluation so we can help get you back on your feet. In Orange County we offer Physical Therapy in Chester, Goshen, Monroe, Port Jervis, and Montgomery. Westchester County has Physical Therapy in Armonk, Bedford, and Hawthorne. In Ulster County we offer Physical Therapy in Wallkill, while in Sullivan County you can get Physical Therapy in Liberty. To round out our 12 locations in New York, those living in Rockland County can go to Physical Therapy in New City as well as Pomona. If you happen to live in PA, we also have Physical Therapy in Milford and Dingmans Ferry of Pike County. Give us a call today!