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3 Tips To Help You Improve Your Posture...

Updated: Feb 16


 

Disclaimer: The exercises and movements mentioned in this blog are not meant to serve as a substitute for professional advice from your healthcare provider. If you have any doubts or uncertainties, it is recommended to consult with your clinician before attempting any of the suggestions provided below.

 

After enjoying a well-spent summer, many individuals find themselves back at their desks, often neglecting proper posture and ending up with discomfort in their neck and back. While desk work is often unavoidable, it doesn't have to result in a stiff neck if you incorporate a few guidelines and prioritize movement throughout your day. Consider the following suggestions to prevent neck and back pain before it becomes an issue:


1. Incorporate regular breaks from sitting

The human body is not designed to remain sedentary for prolonged periods, especially when sitting. It is advisable to change your posture approximately every 20-30 minutes. If possible, consider alternating between sitting and standing to introduce more variety. Taking breaks from sitting can also involve standing up and performing a quick stretch for a few seconds, or taking short breaks to grab some water. To help remind yourself to take these breaks, you can set a timer or place a visible reminder, such as a sticky note, in a prominent location.

Additionally, if your workplace offers standing desks, consider utilizing them as they provide an excellent opportunity to diversify your posture throughout the day.


2. Ensure an ergonomic workstation setup


While it may be tempting to work from the couch with a laptop, prioritizing the long-term health of your neck and back requires an ergonomic workstation setup. If possible, seek professional assistance to evaluate and optimize your ergonomic setup at your workplace. However, you can also consider the following points to improve your workstation setup on your own.

To create an ideal workstation arrangement, start by selecting a suitable chair that allows you to sit with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Position your monitor approximately 18-24 inches away from your eyes, with the top of the screen at eye level. If you are using a laptop, consider using a stand to elevate the screen to a higher level, and use a separate keyboard to ensure proper wrist alignment. Refer to the Correct Sitting Posture graphic below for important guidelines to check your setup.

Remember, an ergonomic workstation setup plays a vital role in promoting good posture and reducing strain on your neck and back.


2. Strengthen and stretch your neck and shoulders


While it is not necessary to do an entire neck exercise program, there are some great stretches that can be used to prevent and maintain neck health.


Start with a chest stretch by putting hands behind your head. Without pulling your head forward, try to squeeze your elbows back until you feel a stretch at the front of your shoulders.


Hold for 20-30 seconds, 3- 5 times in a row if you can.

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For your neck, add in some movement side to side and try to look over your shoulders. Hold at points that feel tight.


Neck Pain, Physiotherapy, stretches, best stretch for neck

Strengthen and maintain neck posture


To further support your neck health, incorporate a strengthening exercise known as the chin tuck. Imagine a string pulling you up from the crown of your head and gently tuck your chin inwards, without overdoing it. Hold this position for 10 seconds.


During the chin tuck, you may feel a stretch in the back of your neck or experience engagement in the front neck muscles. By strengthening these muscles, you can help prevent the forward head posture commonly known as "chin poking." Adding this exercise to your movement breaks is an excellent way to combine it with tip 1 and incorporate it into your daily routine.

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By implementing these three suggestions, you can effectively reduce the risk of experiencing neck pain. However, if you find that neck stiffness and discomfort persist for more than three days and continue to bother you, it is advisable to seek assistance from a physiotherapist at Clearwater Physical Therapy. They can provide personalized exercises and recommend suitable treatments for your specific condition.


To schedule an appointment with a physiotherapist, please refer to our Locations & Services page to find a Clearwater clinic near you or conveniently book online below.


 

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