Top tips for improving posture at work
My name is Daire Guilfoyle and I run Happy Body Fitness and Pilates. Below I introduce the style of pilates I teach and also some tops tips for better posture whilst seated at your desk. I do hope you find it useful!
Happy Body Pilates:
Happy Body Pilates teaches a ‘realistic’ method of Pilates, meaning it is suitable for any body, age, ability. Based on the original principles developed by Joseph Pilates, the class is taught on a ‘less is more’ philosophy, focusing on positioning the body in optimal alignment and challenging the core muscles to perform a series of exercises whilst maintaining this alignment. A key alignment which many people are faced with executing for long periods of time is seated alignment. For many, their day job (myself included as I write this) can mean we spend the majority of our day sitting at a desk. The strain of sitting for long periods can cause us to develop poor posture, usually hunching over a computer and desk which leads to postural issues and muscle imbalances and both can lead to lower back pain. The good news is we can make small changes to our body alignment as we sit to improve our posture. It may seem uncomfortable at first as your muscles are not used to holding your body in a correct form but by applying the points below, you will achieve a correct posture which will help your lower back in the long run.
How to improve posture whilst seated:
- Sit with your feet hip width apart and aim to have your weight evenly balanced through both feet.
- Check you are in a neutral pelvis, you should allow the natural curve of your spine (try and find a middle position between complete flat back and overarching of the spine).
- Slightly draw your navel towards your spine.
- Keep your shoulders relaxed (avoid allowing your shoulders to hunch up towards the ears).
- Imagine you have a helium balloon on the tip of each ear which is drawing you towards the roof – lengthen through the back of your neck and retract your chin towards your chest.
- You should now have improved your posture and be maintaining a proper seated body alignment.
- Any time you feel gravity has forced you back into a slumped position, just remember your helium balloons! By placing your imaginary helium balloons on the tops of your ears, this will instantly ‘pull’ your body back up into a good alignment/posture.
- Adjust your monitor/screen to suit your new alignment. Each time you sit at your desk, if your monitor seems out of position, PAUSE, think about putting on your helium balloons and this will lengthen your body back up into a good posture.