Your spine is one continuous curve, in most people it roughly takes the shape of an ‘S’
You can see how, like a spring, or even better a ‘Slinky’ this makes it ideal for adapting to different movements while also shock absorbing the load of our bodies as we walk, run, jump etc.
The ‘S’ is for Shock absorption, stabilising and smooth movement, so it’s really helpful to try and ‘keep your curves!’
So this week I’m calling you to action with my
3 steps to ‘keeping your S curve Sitting’
- Wedge your butt back in the chair
- Lean back on your backrest
- Bring the weight of your head back over your shoulders
When you sit poorly, the ‘S’ shape is lost and your curve turns into more of a ‘C’…
More about the dangers of that next week!
Until then, take a look at the picture of our Spine’s ‘S’ curve and take note of a couple of things…
Note the hollow in our low back, which sets the scene for keeping us upright.
Then look at the forward facing curve of our trunk, which so very easily tilts forwards if we succumb to gravity.
Now, look at how our ‘S’ curve straightens up again as it becomes our neck, but this so easily bends down again if our head is forwards (think looking down at our phones!) or if the weight of our head comes forwards from a slumped posture.
The basis of good posture when we’re SITTING relies on us keeping a bit of hollow in our low back. You might have even heard about ‘Lumbar support’, which means ‘low back support’, in chairs?
The idea of Lumbar support is to do just that… support your low back in it’s best ‘hollow’ of a curve.
The thing is, Lumbar support ONLY WORKS WHEN YOU SIT YOUR BUTT RIGHT BACK IN YOUR CHAIR!
IF you don’t keep that curve, your tailbone tucks under- picture a dog tucking it’s tail between it’s legs- and this makes it almost IMPOSSIBLE to achieve the next steps to maintaining your healthy spine curves while you sit.
Find out how you can try a free ‘Workstation workout’ program.
So, after wedging you butt back in your chair, be sure to use whatever backrest you have in your chair. It’s almost impossible to stay dead straight when we sit for long periods and inevitably our trunk bends forwards into a slump.
Lastly, you want to draw your neck tall and bring the weight of your head back over your shoulders. This ALWAYS feels awkward at first, like you’re making a double chin!!!
The trick is, to relax the front of your neck (putting your tongue on the roof of your mouth helps), then find the big round bones at the base of your neck (just behind your ears), and draw those bones back and upwards. This makes your neck nice and tall- think of gaining extra inches!!!- and re positions the weight of your head OFF your aching shoulders and over your Shock-absorbing Spine.
Walah! Your spine is now best positioned to do what it’s been made to do!
Your Challenge this week is to keep a conscious eye on your posture and ‘keep correcting your curves’! It’s not easy, but if every time you sit back down or get wriggly in your chair, you wiggle your butt back and relax into your backrest etc, you’ll start winning with your posture!