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The Ergonomic strain and the pain of posture.

Are you hunched over while you read this? Good. Then you'll want to keep reading.

Forward head posture from craning ours necks over a computer
Forward head posture from craning ours necks over a computer
google images

First and foremost I believe that all humans were created to walk upright...

To give credit or blame any evolutionary process that aided in my own hunched over simian characteristics, I'll grant it to very thing I'm using to write this; the computer.

It's the most popular excuse to describe what many of us get through years of craning our necks over our never ending modern technology: Forward head posture syndrome; aka military neck. It can also be the root to many physical grievances such as headaches, vision problems, sciatica and even further develop into a dreaded dowagers hump.

But since computers haven’t always been around, they can't be blamed as the only culprit that lured us into this state of poor posture. Genetics and anatomy abnormalities also come into play. A defeated mental state, exhaustion or serious injuries that trigger intense pain when we attempt any normal position are among some other clubs that beat us into it.

Whatever the cause, correcting the matter at a later stage rather than an earlier one can be as big as a pain in the neck as whiplash. The key of course is prevention. But before we discuss preventative tips for those with no or lesser of a problem.....Let's deal with the worst case scenario of late correction from long term effects. Giving that stage priority respectfully sympathizes with those bearing the heavy task of correction after years of degeneration. There's a long and tedious road ahead of them with no guarantees they'll make it to their goal.

Reflect on that last sentence and recall all those tireless reminders that everything wrong in your life is due to the fact that you can't sit up straight...You know, you've heard it all before. Parents, grandparents, coaches, military commanders, pain therapists, professionals, spouses, pain therapists, our own children, our own grandchildren and yes even pain therapists can lay a formidable guilt trip on you regarding this proper posture thing that makes you want to hunch further in defeat.

But alas, unless you look like the hunchback of Notre Dame, (and even some therapists claim they can fix the hunch), there is hope for everyone.

And even in the worst case scenario some good things to remember are:

  1. No one ever died from having bad posture....even if they look like they’re about to.

  2. Many people all over the world with the worst posture have little or no pain.........yet.

  3. I'm actually getting to the point of this article.

Tips to help with late correction:

  1. Pain therapist (is it necessary to mention that this is most likely a chiropractor?)
  2. Inversion table. It's a great investment.......that is if you can figure how to put one together and have the ability to climb onto it.
  3. Trigger self-awareness with anything and everything that will remind you that you’re not doing it right. These may include...Braces...shock belts (or those waist things that gently electrocute you when you fail to strike the pose.) You can also drag the kind of people around with you that will verbally remind you or stab you in the lower back with a finger.
  4. Choose physical posture-challenging activities that focus on specific areas. E.g. Pilates, rowing, belly dancing.
  5. Sttttrrreeettcccchhh: Stretching can actually increase flexibility.
  6. Invest and set up and ergonomically correct office.
  7. Search 'how-to' videos with exercises on the subject and make it a point to do them daily.
  8. Get more massages to help loosen tight muscles.
  9. Install mirrors in locations where your most likely to get too comfortable and regress.
  10. Practice makes perfect and repetition is your best training tool.

For prevention and early correction, re-read steps one-seven. Hopefully, these points will naturally ease themselves into your life as you become more 'adjusted' to a new way of spinal physics.

Question: “How can Ergonomics help....and by the way, what is Ergonomics?”

Answer: Ergonomics (or human factors) is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance.

Question: “Do these things really work?”

Answer: Only you will know. But if reading this made you sit up straighter and take note then something has been accomplished.

Or in other words, Ergonomics is a fancy way to describe the use of proper office equipment for helping you sit up straight. It's a preventative measure definitely worth investing in if your main environment is in front of a computer.

To sum it all up. Good posture is pushed and regardless of the health benefits, it's a vanity thing. If you want to appear taller, slimmer and more confident, work on your posture. Even if it is a pain.

Additional links to prevent you from resembling the missing link.

Here's link to correct forward head posture

Here's an Ergonomic link straight from the gov.

Here's another link to learn how sit at a computer.

Here's a link to the article that inspired me to write this.

Here's a link to my local Chiropractor.

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