Written by Dr. Farhan Shahzad and Sarah Davies-Robertson
Organisations are taking an active role in educating their staff on how to develop and maintain good posture. They are often doing this by showing employees how to use technology correctly. That being said, many of us, in our rush to complete tasks, often bypass the advice and slump at our desks. This, naturally, compromises our wellbeing.
Posture is important to both physical and mental wellbeing.
Bad posture can impact on our mood, causing us to feel worse. Pain can also lead to negative emotional outcomes. Just as there is a psychological feedback loop with facial expressions, there is one with posture. Bad posture leads to low mood and a low mood can result in bad posture. Standing up straight and working on posture can thus result in a better mood.
Bad posture can lead to headaches, stress and tension, and, over time, crippling back pain that needs further medical care. Working on bettering your posture can lead to better health outcomes.
Tech Neck and Using Gadgets
Tech (or text) neck is the name given when we tilt our neck while using gadgets like mobile phones, tablets, and so forth, in an unnatural position. Over time, this tilting of the head can lead to bad posture and cause headaches, back, neck, and shoulder aches. The tilting can also cause a change in the position of our necks because we are looking down at technology all the time.
More and more people are working longer ours and not switching off. They may sit all day at their desks and then sit on the couch catching up on work emails when they get home. Not switching off and taking time to exercise and stretch can further heighten the risk of developing tech neck.
Stretches You Can Do At Home
Taking time out of your working day to do some stretches and exercises is key to helping maintain good posture. You should also check on posture, ensuring you’re not slumping at your desk. Doing stretches, such as the exaggerated nod, can help prevent tech neck from developing.
Pilates techniques are also great at helping maintain good posture. The downward dog pose can be very useful and there are plenty of free video guides on YouTube. A simple walk outside and mindfulness can help you become aware of any slumping of the back and shoulders. Holding your phone up higher instead of looking down will also help prevent the tilting of your neck. Lifting it up to eye level will be incredibly useful in preventing slumping.
Just remember, prevention is better than cure. Doing simple stretches and making small changes will go a long way in helping you maintain good posture.