I see every patient as a professional athlete. Just as an athlete invests time on a daily basis to train their body in preparation for an athletic endeavour, in the same respect, my patients every day are investing time in certain postures that can either be favourable or unfavourable to their physical condition. Through Postural Awareness we can learn to make appropriate corrections before it becomes too late. Ideally, if you’ve spent 6-hours seated each day with an improper posture then you need spend another 6-hours after work stretching and exercising to counteract the imbalance. Not going to happen, right! So, a much simpler solution is to combine your 6-hours of sitting with a distinct attention to what is more ideal, this way you gain 6-hours each day of re-educating your body to have a more optimal alignment. Plus, when you actively engage your muscles to align your body you increase your metabolic rate and calorie burning. Added bonus!
If I’m going to be sat researching for an hour or longer, I build into my schedule a series of stretches that I can dedicate a maximum of 3-minutes. I would recommend to do this every 1-hour. The more frequent you can be, the greater the outcome for correcting your posture. Essentially, you need to stretch the short-tight muscles only. For example, recalling from our anatomy lesson from Part 1 of this article, the rhomboids and related spino-scapular muscles are muscles that do not need to be stretched. The primary muscles to stretch include the sub-occipitals, upper trapezius, pectoral, abdominals, hip flexors and hamstrings/calf. Try these stretches illustrated. All of these stretches can easily be modified and performed whilst standing.