Saturday, November 19, 2011

Seated Posture -how it affects your back

Do you have an office job? Do you sit for longer than one hour at a time? Do you have occasional back pain or stiffness and wonder why this is happening?

Upon enervating the modern workforce many people find themselves answering yes to these questions. One topic deserves more attention is "seated office posture". In essence it's the position of your body while you are sitting, and most of the time sitting and working on a computer.

Many professionals may be unaware of how proper positioning of your spin while seated can affect your productivity, decrease postural pain, and actually increase your confidence and public perception.

Lumbar (lower-back) Seated Posture

Many people are not aware that their posture while seated puts their spine in an abnormally flexed position; while naturally the spine is built structurally to have a forward curvature in the low-back. When your body is not naturally positioned the postural muscles of your back become irritated and your abdominal muscles become habitually weakened.

The solution is looking to how the spine is structurally built in order to disperse the loads placed upon it from the body. The lumbar spine (low-back) is composed of 5 moveable bones balanced on a large bone called the sacrum. The natural curvature in the lumbar spine has a range of 50-60 degrees. This curvature follows the shapes of the bones and allows for optimal distribution of the forces of gravity. This curve is actually a neutral position for the spine and a starting point for any action or movement.

What people often forget is that sitting is not natural for a person to do 8 hours a day 5 days a week. This is why chairs have lumbar support in the backs of the chair. Using this support to help position your low-back with healthy curvature will enable your spine to maintain healthy natural positions while at work.

Reminding yourself to take hourly walk breaks and then mindfully position your body back in your chair with a neutral and natural lumbar curve, is a good habit to help your body learn healthy postural habits.

1 comment: