Posture Part 3: Optimizing Sitting | Modern Manual Therapy Blog - Manual Therapy, Videos, Neurodynamics, Podcasts, Research Reviews

Posture Part 3: Optimizing Sitting

Finally concluding the Posture Series with most likely the most important of all, sitting!

Parts I and II here for lying and standing, respectively.

Poor sitting posture may lead to conditions like

  • shoulder impingement
  • neck pain and headaches
  • lower back pain
  • TMD or jaw and facial pain
Here are some simple ways to correct sitting posture

1) Using the McKenzie Lumbar Roll
  • Improving the inward curvature or lordosis in your lumbar spine straightens out the mid back, elevates your sternum and helps bring the scapula in a down and back, or set position
  • pull your shoulders down and back, then relax about 10%
    • this relaxes your upper traps and helps bring the head and neck over the shoulders
  • this position takes pressure off of 
    • lower back muscles, joints, and discs
    • mid back shoulder blade and spinal muscles and joints
    • upper traps, often reducing tender points that may refer to the head/neck
  • You still may require a slight chin tuck to bring the head back over the neck and shoulders for optimal static posture
  • this is the preferred static posture because it is passive, not using muscles directly to hold yourself upright, which most cannot do without a lot of practice

2) Unsupported Static Sitting
  • sit on the end of your chair
  • have one leg forward and the other leg back
  • hinge at your hips and accept weight on the front leg, while keeping your sternum upright
  • change legs every 5-10 minutes
3) Do not sit statically for more than 20-30 minutes
  • no pain does not mean no problem
  • get up and perform backward bends at your lower back and chin tucks at your neck
  • break up prolonged sitting with any activity, like getting a glass of water
  • alternate between positions 1 and 2 or supported and unsupported
You may do position 1 for the longest because it is supported, but you should still not sit for long periods to avoid stress and strain on various structures in your body.

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