Good posture is never out of style
But sofas are hardly conducive to good posture- they are often the exact opposite. You may think that the big, fluffy sofa that you sink right into is your best friend, but we are willing to bet your spine would strongly disagree. However, relaxing is extremely important! And the sofa is a gateway to relaxation for many people, so we support sitting on the sofa as long as it is done responsibly! By staying aware of your posture and your spine’s relation to the couch, you can make minor adjustments to effect huge improvements in the way your spine feels after your next Netflix binge.
Relaxation is an identifiable state
A basic definition of relaxation taken from Google: the state of being free from tension and anxiety. But what does it take to get to such a peaceful sounding place? When it comes to sleeping, the process begins with comfort. Feelings of comfort lead to calm, a state of harmony between body, mental processing and emotions. Calm theoretically then gives way to relaxation, allowing your body to reduce its expenditure of energy and focus on resting. This last phase is when sleep occurs, but the process, as many of you will know, is far from easy. While reducing anxiety and tension is not a simple case of getting from point A to point B, there are steps you can take, including using your pillow, to create a comfortable environment for your body and mind to seek calmness and relaxation.
Core health starts by sucking it in!
That’s all you have to do to start improving your core health: sit up straight and pull your belly button in toward the spine and up toward the rib cage. With that simple movement you have effected a wholesale change in the use of your postural and phasic core muscles; as a byproduct of this movement, you have also set up a foundation for great posture. In this position, you should be able to experience how your muscles are working to lend stability to the lower back and maintain the natural curves of your spine. As many times a day as you can remember, suck in your belly button and use the muscles in the core to maintain that position. This is a great example of how you can subtly change your habits to improve the use of your core and your spinal health.
There are two main types of muscles that contribute to a solid core
Sitting at your desk all day, every day, is eventually going to cause some kind of pain and dysfunction in your back, unless you take proactive measures to stop its occurence! For most people, a prescription of improving posture would suffice but its hardly that simple of a problem. No matter how many times you are told to sit up straight, you’re not going to be able to maintain it unless you have postural balance. No matter how you spin it, good posture starts with the muscles.
Take stock of your posture right now
The most common poses when working are: sitting and standing. Chances are you could benefit from a quick posture adjustment. It goes like this:
- Sit up straight and look straight ahead with your head balanced atop your spine.
- Move your butt to the back of your chair.
- Pull your navel in toward your spine and up toward your ribs.
- Roll your shoulders back and down
- Drop your tailbone down toward the floor.
- Make sure you feel as though there is a straight line between your head and tailbone.
Chances are this position feels awkward- it may even hurt a bit. That is your muscles adjusting to the position they are supposed to be able to hold. Let the shame sink into those muscles and take a moment to realize that this is what good posture looks like. We need to make this the norm- but how?