Work related pain... And the real reason why your posture sucks

"Why does my back hurt? I didn't even do anything!!”

This is one of the most common complaints I get from my patients. I have to answer this question literally every day. The answer is simple, and you're not going to like it:

your posture sucks

Remember though, your posture is not tied to your value as a person. Just because you “have bad posture” doesn't mean you're a bad person! Nor are you doomed to “bad posture” simply because [INSERT FAMILY MEMBER HERE] has bad posture...

Your posture is simply a shape that you put your body in, so creating changes in your work habits to get your body into a “better shape” is the best way to improve your “posture” and get you working and feeling better.

When we sit at a desk or in a car seat for more than 4 hours per day, our spine changes shape over time. These adaptations are a result of fatigue, and can cause or predispose us to significant soft tissue injuries that cause pain.

Here's the take-home: you need to use your tissues BETTER, and the best way that i've found to do this, is to alternate sitting and standing, before the fatigue sets in.

Here are two easy steps:

1. Get your technology at nose level!

Getting your screens out of your lap and in front of your face helps your head and neck position to be more upright. Looking down all day long is a great way to guarantee a headache. Reaching your face forward into your monitor flattens out the curve in your neck, creating unhealthy upper back curvature as well!

2. Start standing... but not all the time!
Fatigue is the enemy. Refresh your position often. The easiest way to do this is to stand SOME OF THE TIME. What I suggest for my patients is that they set a timer for 7-10minutes. When it goes off, change position and reset the timer. This is a better and more reasonable suggestion than “Just take a break!”, because it doesn't interfere with productivity. Nothing is more annoying than being in the middle of something and being interrupted, even if it's for a good cause....

Check out this video for the finer points on desk setup!


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