As the kids head back to the classroom, parents may also be finding themselves spending increased time seated at a desk. We tend to live in a subconscious mindset when we are mentally focussed on a task or computer work, often completely forgetting or ignoring what our bodies are doing.
I know I often start my day with good posture, focussing on sitting up on a yoga block on my sit bones with a long spine and neutral neck. However as the day goes on, it is easy to become rounded in our shoulders and upper back, allowing our hips to become tight and stiff and worst of all our head and neck start to protrude further and further forward out of alignment.
They are now terming this state “tech neck” that we are getting from the time we are spending looking at computers, as well as down at our phones and tablets. Kids of younger and younger ages are becoming rigid in their cervical and upper thoracic spines, leading to a big hump or nodule in the back. Not only can this create pain and injury (especially later down the line), but it also cuts off the oxygen supply to nerves and circulatory blood flow to the brain! This can lead to cognitive decline, fatigue/low energy, headaches/migraines and hormonal imbalances.
The sagittal vertical axis is the location of the head with respect to the normal center of gravity by a "plumb line" dropped from the center of the neck to the back corner of the pelvis. Studies are now actually revealing signs of mild cognitive decline in individuals when viewed from the side, if their head and neck protrude out in front of their pelvis. In both men and women, a protrusion greater than 70mm was correlated with cognitive decline REGARDLESS OF AGE!
Getting up and moving, whether that means taking a short walk, doing some marches in place, or even better spending 5 minutes bouncing on a mini trampoline/rebounder, is crucial to break up your prolonged time sitting at a desk. However, I do realize in school or at work this may not be a feasible option. Instead, click HERE for 5 quick stretches/exercises that you can do while sitting at your desk to help mobilize your hips, chest, upper back and improve your posture throughout the day so you can maintain your energy levels, brain capacity and stay pain free!
These are just a couple ideas for you to take with you, however there are so many more beneficial movements you can do for your body on a daily basis. You might find some more of these ideas in the yoga classes I teach online. For just $15/month you gain access to multiple classes that can be done on your own time, stop, pause and continue whenever you wish! Try them before or after work or school, or even during your lunch break. Your body will thank you!
Members will also gain access to our resistance band exercise series for various body parts, ailments, and posture ideas with resistance bands that can be used at home, in the office, or at the gym! Click HERE to register!
Author: Dr. Sarah Kingsley PT, DPT, RYT
This information is generalized and intended for educational purposes only. Due to potential individual contraindications, please see your primary care provider before implementing any strategies in these posts.