top of page

Posture Correction and Ergonomics

Maintaining good posture and practicing proper ergonomics are essential for overall musculoskeletal health and well-being. In today's modern world, where many of us spend long hours sitting at desks or hunched over electronic devices, poor posture has become increasingly common. However, with awareness and the right strategies, it's possible to improve posture and reduce the risk of discomfort and injury. This does not have to mean perfecting meditation or headstands, or sitting with your spine perfectly aligned every minute of every day.

The Importance of Good Posture: 

Good posture refers to the alignment of the body parts in relation to one another, whether sitting, standing, or lying down. Proper posture helps distribute the body's weight evenly, reduces strain on muscles and ligaments, and promotes optimal function of the musculoskeletal system. Conversely, poor posture can lead to muscle imbalances, joint dysfunction, and pain or discomfort. What we see often in our patients is that people come in with either excessive movement or rigidity. Both of these will cause uneven strain on the body. As I always tell my patients, "With great flexibility comes great responsibility" - you can't move a lot but not have control, and you can't just stop moving completely and expect to have good stability.

Common Posture-Related Problems: 

Many people experience posture-related problems, such as rounded shoulders, forward head posture, and excessive curvature of the spine. These issues can result from prolonged sitting, improper ergonomics, muscle weakness or tightness, and lack of awareness. Over time, poor posture can contribute to musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and reduced mobility. This will lead to uneven strain in the body and contribute to uneven wear throughout the ligaments and joints as well as uneven length-tension relationships between different muscle groups. Not only will this put you at risk for injury, but it will limit your performance and power output.

Tips for Maintaining Proper Posture:

  • No one can maintain perfect posture for 8 hours a day. Take breaks.

  • Ensure that your desk set up is as even and as ergonomical as possible - check out our next blog post for tips on desk set up.

  • You will get tight in the areas that your body has the most difficulty in maintaining in a neutral position - this is normal, but although you should keep stretching, you should ask yourself what your body is doing to keep recreating tightness in the same areas.

  • Variety is key - change which position you sit in, give different muscle groups a break, but above all - do not get so comfortable in your chair that you disengage your deep stabilizing muscles.

  • Slowly build up postural strength and endurance - this takes longer than almost any other part of rehab.

Exercises and Stretches for Improved Posture:

  • Scapular mobility exercises - if your shoulder blades are locked up, your shoulders, neck and upper back will all take undue strain. Roll your shoulder blades forward, backwards, up and down. Set your shoulder blades down and back at regular intervals - try not to overuse your upper traps or the front of your shoulders throughout the day. Try 10 in each direction, outside of pain.

  • Thoracic rotation stretch - if your upper back cannot rotate, it cannot straighten. Sitting, reach both arms forward. Keep one arm straight forward as a reference point, then bend the other arm and pull it back, like you are pulling back a bow and arrow. Turn your head and upper body together with the arm that is reaching backwards. Try to rotate as much as your body will allow without forcing this movement and without your back going into spasm. Start slow and with a smaller movement, then gradually increase the range. Try 5-10 on each side for a few seconds (that's a few "Mississippi's") each.

  • Pelvic tilts - the more you sit, the more your hip flexors will pull your hips forward and tighten up your lower back. Try to roll your hips back; if you had a tail, you would be tucking it between your legs. This might stretch your lower back, but it should not cause any sharp pain. Try to hold for 5-10 seconds, 5-10 times. Ideally, this should relieve some pressure off of your lower back.

By prioritizing good posture and practicing proper ergonomics, individuals can reduce the risk of musculoskeletal problems and enjoy better overall health and well-being. With awareness, education, and consistent effort, it's possible to improve posture, alleviate discomfort, and prevent injuries related to poor posture.

Many times poor posture is not a result of a lack of effort. If you have had chronic pain in a certain area, this will cause movement dysfunction around this area. If you have had pain for a long time, this will cause muscle inhibition and poor ability to feel movement in this area. If your joints are locked up and your soft tissue has minimal pliability, you will have to fight against your body to try to get into "good posture" and this may be very tiring.

Please reach out to get help with getting loosened up, re-learning correct movement patterns and getting out of pain.

Call 904 257 5732 for more information on how we can help at Movement Driven Performance Physiotherapy.

0 views0 comments


bottom of page