Is your 9-5 desk job affecting your posture?

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Is your 9-5 desk job affecting your posture? As with many others who work in offices or corporate settings, if your job requires you to sit for extended periods of time, you may suffer from chronic low back pain and pain in your neck and shoulders brought on by bad posture. Unfortunately, prolonged sitting, whether for work or leisure, may eventually result in joint stiffness and muscular imbalances. Hours of sitting in an undesirable posture cause your body to become accustomed to it, which can negatively impact your posture and lead to more severe long-term problems. In addition to affecting posture, regular every day sitting can lead to physical pain, strain, and discomfort.

What is considered poor posture?

Essentially, “Poor posture” occurs when the spine is not in a neutral position. When all three curves of the spine—cervical (neck), thoracic (middle), and lumbar (lower)—are present and in proper alignment, the spine is said to be in a neutral position. When standing or sitting, this is the strongest position for the spine since it allows our bodies to move in the most natural way. The spine serves as your body’s main support structure and must be positioned correctly for optimal use.

Poor posture can lead to a variety of problems, including pain, muscle strain, and even digestive issues. Many people are unaware they have poor posture until they are examined by a physical therapist. When your body is out of alignment, it puts additional strain on your muscles and joints due to compensation. Posture tends to deteriorate as we get older due to being less physically active and spending more time using computers at home or work. Here are some common symptoms of poor posture and what to look out for:

  • Headaches
  • Poor breathing
  • Rounded shoulders
  • Low back pain
  • Forward head posture
  • Stomach issues
  • Inability to stand up straight
  • Poor balance and coordination
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Difficulty sitting in one position for too long

How Hypermobility Affects Posture

Hypermobility also has a variety of effects on posture. Whether it’s EDS or general hypermobility syndrome, joints can weaken and overstretch the surrounding muscles and tendons, resulting in poor posture. This can increase the likelihood of injury and persistent discomfort, especially in the back, neck, and hips. Furthermore, a hypermobile joint increases its vulnerability to damage and instability, which over time may weaken the muscles. The spine, neck, or other joints may become misaligned as a result of a joint that is unstable and unable to maintain its proper alignment. Because misaligned joints are more susceptible to strain and damage, poor posture can also raise the risk of injury. In general, hypermobility can have an adverse effect on posture due to muscular weakness and overstretching, joint instability, an increased risk of injury, and chronic pain. As a result, managing hypermobility is critical to lessen these effects and improve overall posture.

How PT can Help

Maintaining “good posture” begins with becoming mindful of your usual posture habits. Physical therapists can help with posture by prescribing specific exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles in your shoulders, neck, and back. Additionally, they will demonstrate the proper form for these movements so you avoid straining yourself. Your physical therapist will most likely advise you on particular stretches, at-home ergonomics, and strengthening exercises that will target your problem areas.

For instance, if you have rounded shoulders, your physical therapist might suggest standing rows. If you have a forward head posture, they might recommend deep neck strengthening of your neck by tucking your chin in place while sitting or standing. A physical therapist will also advise you on how to prevent worsening problems associated with poor posture.

Next Steps

So, if you’ve found that your posture is less than ideal, or if you’ve been affected by pain that could be related to your posture, we encourage you to consult a physical therapist. This will allow you to address problems before they become more serious, lowering the chance of long-term consequences.

We hope that this blog and video have given you a better understanding of how your lifestyle may be affecting your posture. If you’re interested in learning more about what we do or scheduling a session, please get in touch with us here. You can always visit our YouTube channel, where we provide more useful tips and tricks.

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