Since the dawn of computer time, man has de-evolved into a creature that habitates the recesses of the virtual world. Unfortunately, consequences of extended html surfing tear into the reality of dealing with bad posture. It is not called ape posture as the title entails, but referred to as “Postural Syndrome”.

I recently attended a networking event here in Denver, Colorado and the topic of posture came up several times. Most people admit to having “bad posture”, and yet have never explored ways to improve posture. Fear not, your knuckle dragging ape ways do not have to be and can be changed with good advice.

What is so important about good posture? Why do you need to be aware of your posture? What can happen to the body with bad posture? These are the questions that I would like every one of you to ponder a bit. Posture is your outward expression of the energy that you conserve or expend.

Conserving your energy with good posture will pay off. Bad posture leads to fatigue, that leads to stress, that leads to illness, that results in injury. Long term poor posture can result in:

1. Neck pain
2. Upper back pain
3. Lower back pain
4. Shoulder pain
5. Arm pain
6. Arm numbness
7. Tingling in the arm
8. Muscle weakness
9. Muscle spasms
10. Tight muscles
11. Referred pain
12. Jaw pain
13. increased blood pressure
14. …..the list goes on and on folks!

What does bad posture look like?
1. Forward head
2. Increased upper back curve
3. Slumping
4. Straightening of the neck or
5. Increase curve of the neck
6. Rounded shoulders
7. Increase or decrease in the curve of the low back

What can you do about your posture?
1. You should be able to touch your computer screen with your finger tips.
2. Top of the screen should be level with your eyes.
3. Keyboard should be level with your elbows.
4. Your wrist should be lower than your elbows.
5. The wrist should be supported.
6. Your chair should have adjustable arm supports.
7. Your chair should have an adjustable height option.
8. Your chair should have a head rest.
9. Your chair should also have tilt capacity.
10. The phone should be within arms reach.
11. Feet should be flat on the floor.
12. Strengthen your Rhomboids – for every 20 min. of sitting, keep the shoulders down and squeeze your shoulder blades together as tight as you can for 10 sec. Repeat this strengthening exercise every 20 minutes and you will notice a difference.
13. Strengthen your spinal erectors – while sitting in your chair we have a tendency to slump, this strengthening pose is the reverse of the slump posture. Arch your entire spine (including head), hold this pose for at least 10 seconds. This will strengthen the muscles that keep your back from slumping.
14. Stretch the neck. Turn your head to left half way, sit on your right hand to keep the shoulder down, with the left hand put it on the back of your head and bring the head toward the left arm pit. Do the same on the other side. Repeat sequence except keep your head straight and use the other hand to bring the ear to the shoulder.
15. Exercise – This is a big one, but it must be tailored to the individual. Most people have muscle imbalances that need to be identified, and be prescribed particular exercises.
16. Get ADJUSTED! – This can be one of the most benefical items with this list. Specific spinal adjustments by a chiropractor will help release tight muscles and will allow joints that are restricted in motion to move like they should.

If you think your work place could use an ergonomic evaluation, or would like me to give a short talk over lunch about posture and stress issues in the work place, please call to arrange.

To Your Health,

Dr. Trent Artichoker MS, DC

Denver Chiropractic, LLC

3890 Federal Blvd Unit 1
Denver, CO 80211