Why your mother was right when she said “Pull your shoulders back!”
Poor sitting posture is not only common but detrimental to our health. We are in a time of increased time on our phones, tablets, computers and laptops. All of these require us to sit more and we often slump forward when sitting for long periods of time. Side effects of this slumped posture include, neck, back and shoulder pain and also headaches.
In order to improve posture when sitting, simply squeezing shoulder blades (scapula) back and downwards towards your spine repeatedly throughout the day will create a habit and in a few weeks you will start to be able to maintain this position without too much thought. This exercise strengthens the muscles at your shoulder blades which allows you to maintain this position for longer periods of time.
Keeping your low back pressed against the back of the chair, with feet planted on the ground helps to keep the pelvis in a neutral position and prevent low back pain.
Long term effects of having better sitting posture include:
Prevents back pain.
Relieves pain in the neck and shoulders.
Prevents headaches caused by poor neck posture.
Prevents anterior shoulder impingement thus reducing risk for possible shoulder tendon injury.
Opens chest creating space for lungs to fully expand as ribs have room to expand. This allows for a full breath to be taken thus increasing the capacity of your lungs. This increases oxygen and circulation in the body providing a healthier you.
If you are having pain with sitting, visit your physiotherapist for an assessment and treatment that is personalized for you.