Finding a meaningful sitting posture is worth investing in. It is not the simple event of sitting up straight. It is an adaptive and creative process that can help maintain the health of your back. Developing good lifestyle habits in sitting postures (at work, watching TV, doing housework) can really improve your health. Taking regular breaks to stretch and move can allow the body to release stresses and strains and find more ease. Paying attention to small details can help: reversing into the back of your seat; using a small cushion or rolled towel for support; allowing your shoulders to relax back into contact with the chair.
Let’s have a look at a familiar posture; a slumped sitting position. This can affect the Musculoskeletal system by creating drags or pulls in the tissues and structures. It can also feed poor postural or ‘core’ control. This can present as tension in your spine, tightness in your shoulders or pain in your body. This rounded body posture accentuates the low back curve in the wrong bias and can over-strain the neck position as the chin ‘pokes’ forward. This activates the accessory muscles of breathing in the neck and shoulders, affecting breathing and causing shoulder tension. Indeed there is a knock on effect to the whole body. Organs in the trunk have less space to move and breathe. Here, it is easy to imagine that if the abdominal contents are compressed, digestion may also be affected.
Choosing good habits takes an initial effort. It is often a decision to move from established patterns of flexion and develop more choices of postural control. It is a choice to find postures that work for you, pain-free in any given situation (at the movies, hairdressers or work). It’s about moving regularly and being adaptable. Becoming interested in how you sit can really feed your health. This can be a very rewarding experience. As Physiotherapists we can show you the landmarks of your habits and offer some helpful suggestions. Let us know if we can help.