As I sit at a desk quite a lot I often feel the twinging in my shoulders and realise I’m slouched and uncomfortable. It made me wonder how many others do the same. I spotted a post by my good friend Elizabeth Bandeen at Massage by Elizabeth and asked her if she would be interested in writing a guest blog for the site on exactly that subject. I’m delighted to say she accepted the challenge. Many thanks Elizabeth.
Here is a cheeky wee script for posture at work…
I get asked by many of my massage clients how they can improve their posture at work. People can get quite hung up on knowing or thinking that they have bad posture resulting in back neck and shoulder pain. So here is my low down on the subject. All opinions are my own.
The first very very important thing you MUST know is… You are not doing anything wrong. You’re just busy.
If you do have a sedentary job where you are sitting for most of your day, the Harvard Business School coined a phrase especially for you.
You are a Corporate Athlete!
And its so true! You are in a different kind of race. Emails to write and answer, phone calls to make, messages to listen to from missed phone calls, meetings to attend, mass hysteria, cats and dogs living together (I will personally give you Brownie Points if you can name the move that last line was from…)
So what can you do, if you feel you are in the ‘bad posture’ group? First things first. When you are at work, slouch away. Yes you read that right. Slouch away. You have enough on your plate and the last thing you need to think about is how you are sitting when you have so much other stuff going on in your head! I am sitting at my table writing this and my back and hips are flexed as I am sitting down and I am totally fine with that.
As a massage therapist, I am very lucky to have a job where I am constantly moving around, lunging, stretching into positions, constantly moving my arms, but what if you don’t move around so much during the day? I recently read an article that a good friend forwarded to me called ‘sitting is the new smoking’ and its so true! Sitting for prolonged periods of time does no one any favours.
There are some very smart things that Corporate Athletes can do however…
- Make sure your monitor on your computer is as eye-level as it can be. Its important not to have a forward head tilt, try lifting your chin and notice how much better your neck feels.
- Make sure you are taking your breaks and NOT working through your lunch hour.
- Try to get up from your desk at least every 2 hours and move around, arm circles, shoulder circles, get the blood flowing! Notice how everything tingles when you do that.
- Can you get a desk that raises that would give you a choice if you wanted to stand and work, or sit and work?
- The next time you have a meeting… why not organise it as a standing up meeting, or how about going for walk and having your meeting whilst you walk? Be the difference…
Also, think about how you are moving when you are NOT working. My own posture wake up call was when the Osteopath I work next to, Daniel, saw me nipping out to the shops and then did an impression of me walking down the street. Basically , I was stooped forward with my backside sticking out! Not very attractive, and, it looked awful! So, after calling him everything under the sun, I asked his advice on walking better and it was as simple as this, stop leaning forward and lift my chin. So that’s my challenge for my posture. How I move when I am not working.
When you start any kind of personal project with your physical self, its never going to be immediate, everything takes time, and that is a struggle I am willing to put up with to help improve my posture. That, and regular massage… of course! I have one client who shared with me that once she has had a massage treatment from me, decisions are just so much easier to make. Aaaaah. That’s better.
I hope you enjoyed reading this information, and if any of this resonates with you, and you are in indeed thinking to yourself ‘I need a massage!’ then please visit my website on www.elizabethbandeen.co.uk and use my super easy online booking system to take your first step towards an a new and improved you! We will all need to be match fit for the Commonwealth Games this summer! Getting from one venue to another needs another kind of match fitness!
And remember…Massage is better felt than telt!