According to Bupa, workers in the UK took a staggering 30 million days off in 2016 for problems related to bone and muscle health. One reason for this is that whilst most of our clients have impeccable form during the hour they spend with us in the gym, over the rest of the day their attention to their posture can slip, leading to neck and back pain, reduced mobility and muscular imbalances that worsen over time.
So, how can you nail your posture when your trainer isn’t there to remind you? Here is our easy to follow guide on how to stay strong and pain free outside of the gym too!
Try not to sit in the same position, hour after hour. Frequent, short breaks are recommended, to give the muscles in your back the chance to relax, while other muscles of the body work. Research has shown that people should be taking an active break from sitting every 30 minutes. In addition to postural issues, too much sitting can affect your health in other ways. For example, it has been shown to cause an increase in the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and stroke as well as heart disease. A study in the 1950’s discovered that London bus drivers were twice as likely to have heart attacks as their bus conductor counterparts.
Positioning yourself in the correct way when sitting at a desk can make all the difference. Here are the key points to look out for:
For optimal neck position, your ears should be positioned directly above the shoulders, ensuring the shoulders are not rounded. This minimises stress on the neck, because the head is naturally balanced on the cervical spine.
If you’re stuck at your desk, there are still some simple stretches that you can do to help keep you mobile and prevent you from spending too long in sub-optimal positions. Here are a few of our favourites.
Seated Spinal Rotation
▪ In a seated position, cross your arms over your chest and take hold of your shoulders
▪ Gently rotate your upper body from the waist, from right to left, as far as you can, to provide a gentle stretch to the sides of your lower back
▪ Keep your head upright and gently turn your head from side to side, as far as it can go within a comfortable range
Upper Traps (shoulder and neck) stretch
If you have any areas of tightness that you want to address, or would like some more ideas on optimising your posture when at work, chat to your trainer today. Don’t yet train with us? Book in for your free initial consultation by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org