If you're reading this, sit up straighter. No judgment—whether we do it consciously or not, we're all guilty of slouching on occasion and as of this week, I'm really trying to kick the habit.
I suppose you could class me as a stereotypical millennial. I eat reasonably well, I work out when I can, I do yoga and while I'm mindful of my general wellness, I'm also stressed and I spend a lot of time staring at my computing or hunching over my phone.
Anterior head carriage, or forward head posture, is a postural adaptation where the head is improperly aligned with the neck and shoulders. In a normal spine, the head should be suspended directly over the spine and in line with the shoulders and this keeps the weight of the head over the body’s center of gravity. The strain of poor posture while using technology can cause a straightening of the neck’s natural curve and the head shifts forward from its neutral position. As the shoulders curve inward, the muscles of the neck and back will begin to be strained by the unnatural pulling forces of the weight of the head tilting forward.
I can almost hear the eye rolls already, but 'text neck' or 'iPosture', can take a serious toll on our spines, shoulders, hips, and knees over time and we are only now starting to better understand the impact of the postural strain with anterior head carriage and how it may be a risk factor for lon-term musculoskeletal system conditions.
Don't get me wrong, I love a mindless scroll as much as the next girl, but I'm really not sure I'm willing to pay a life-long price for it.
Bettering our posture can work to improve digestion, respiratory functions and movement capabilities, as well as having positive effects on our strength, clarity and confidence.
I honestly was Googling 'posture braces' earlier this week, but over the next few days I'm going to try the simple tricks below, to improve my daily posture and prevent my text neck from worsening.
- When walking, always think about keeping you ears over your shoulders.
- Be mindful of your posture beginning at your belly button. Pull it in towards your spine and lift your ribcage.
- Pretend you are tucking your shoulder blades down into the back pockets of your jeans.
- Be conscious of sitting on your thighs, not tailbone.
- Put a water bottle or small ball between your shoulder blades and hold it against the back of your chair.
- If on a couch or soft armchair, sit on the edge of the seat cushion, with your two feet on the floor. It'll engage your core and encourage balance.
- Imagine that Beyonce is interviewing you for a job and adjust your posture accordingly.