Happy November everyone!
First I want to say thank you to this month’s guest contributor physiotherapist Alishah Merchant. Check out her article on Sitting Ergonomics. Thanks Alishah!!
Next I am excited to announce that I have three things to report!
Also, my partnership with Sears has resumed. I was on CHCH Hamilton on Oct 9th talking about how to encourage girls to be active.
Last but not least, I started a Pinterest page ! I never thought I would say this about anything related to social media, but I am very excited about the project. My Pinterest page has tonnes of original content, including exercises descriptions, interval workouts and motivational quotes! This month instead of the regular “exercise of the month” column, I am including an interval workout from my Pinterest board. That way you guys can get a taste of what the board has to offer!
By Alishah Merchant
The vast majority of us spend hours at a desk in front of a computer every day. Even after the workday is complete, many of us leave work only to sit more-while on the bus, subway or car, at the dinner table and in front of the television. If this is the position that our bodies spend most of the day, then we must ask ourselves, are we sitting correctly?
A large proportion of clients we help at our downtown Toronto physiotherapy clinic come to us complaining of tension in their necks, stiffness along their spine and decreased mobility of their hips as a result of sitting all day. On further assessment we quickly realize that they are usually sitting poorly, in positions that increase strain to the shoulder, neck, back, pelvis and hips.
Sitting in front of a computer and completing tasks that are in front of our bodies tends to lead us into poor positions. The head and neck drift forward towards the computer screen, the shoulders round forward, and the spine looses its’ natural curves (and ends up fully rounded from top to bottom). This is not an optimal position for our bones, joints and muscles to be in and will ultimately lead to pain, stiffness, decreased flexibility and injury.
This is a serious problem and there are just too many cases of injuries caused by poor sitting ergonomics that could be prevented. This is why our highly experienced physiotherapists have put our heads together to develop a concise list of ergonomic considerations that you should follow when sitting for prolonged periods of time.
1. Be sure that your head does not drift forward. Imagine that you are a puppet with a string connecting the top of your head to the ceiling. Think of that string pulling your head upwards making you taller, while lengthening your neck. Keep your head and neck stacked on top of the rest of your spine.
2. Don’t allow your shoulders to round forward but at the same time don’t over-pinch your shoulder blades. Think of widening your collar bones, lifting your breast bone up and very gently tensing the muscles in between your shoulder blades.
3. Keep your chest centered over your pelvis. Don’t allow your body to shift sideways, rotate to one side, lean back or forward. Your chest and shoulders should stay square over your pelvis. Watch out if you are mousing with one arm as this can cause you to twist your upper body.
4. Sit on your sit bones. Many desk workers get lazy and roll onto their tail bones or even low backs as they sit. This can put immense stress on your low back and discs. If this is how you sit day in and day out, you may end up with a herniated disc so be very careful. A lumbar support behind the small of your back can prevent you from rounding your low back and can help you stay on your sit bones while you sit.
5. Make sure you are not putting more weight on one sit bone or one side of your body. Try to keep your weight evenly dispersed across your pelvis. If you notice that most of your weight is on one side of your buttock then it is likely that your pelvis is twisted. The pelvis is your foundation and if your foundation is twisted than it is inevitable that everything that is stacked above the foundation is likely to collapse.
6. Look at your knees. Both of your knees should be aligned with one another. If one knee is more forward, your pelvis is likely to be twisted and your foundation is compromised once again. It is highly unlikely that you are able to maintain all the other components of your posture if your foundation is in jeopardy.
7. Your hips and knees should be at a 90-degree angle. This will help minimize the tension in the muscles that connect your knees to your hips and pelvis.
8. Your feet should touch the floor. If your feet are touching the floor than you will have more stability and thus require less energy to maintain your best posture!
Most importantly, you should try to get up and move around throughout the day to combat the negative effects of sitting.
Rebalance Sports Medicine is a multidisciplinary clinic located in downtown Toronto. We have made it our priority to educate the public and help prevent common injuries before they start. We are located at 110 Yonge Street, Suite 905. You can contact us via email at [email protected] or by phone at 416-777-9999.
Workout of the Month