By: Dan Karrels, Personal Trainer & Certified Athletic Trainer
It is The Same Old Story
By now, we all know that posture is extremely important and that poor posture is not ideal. There are many ways that poor posture can affect our health and wellness, whether you are an athlete or not. In the technological age we live in, many of us spend an overwhelming part of our day at a desk for work or school. We are in front of a computer, driving, or burying our face in our smart phones. We are sitting for more than half of the day. Or we are in the same position or doing the same repetitive movements all day long. Thanks to distractions, we rarely realize these repetitive movements or the poor postural positions we are in throughout the day.
Over time, this causes our body to lose its natural symmetry and ability to function how it should. As some muscles become neglected and underused, others become overused. When these asymmetries aren’t addressed, it is extremely likely that they will lead to injury or pain down the road.
How to Make a Change
For those of you lucky enough to have a trainer that addresses this in your workouts, pay attention. Learn what they are having you do and actually do it. For the others trying to address these asymmetries on your own, or have yet to try. Stop the waiting. I recommend doing your homework first and educating yourself on proper exercises. Learning how to do some of these simple exercises and stretches on your own, on a daily basis will be extremely beneficial to your long-term health.
The reality is that those 2-4 hours a week you spend in the gym working out may not be enough. After all you sit with poor posture for 40+ hours a week. You must find ways to remind yourself throughout the day to adjust your position. Stand up and walk around during the day, or find stretches you can do for 5 minutes during a break. Make it a habit to add a short corrective exercise program in your daily routine. This will go a long way, not only in your daily life but also in the gym. In time, you will be able to spend less time working on these corrective exercises at the gym. More time can be spent achieving the fitness and performance goals you have always wanted to accomplish.
Here are 5 stretches you can do in your office to improve your posture and combat the impact of sitting at a desk.