Take a second to think about the position of your head and neck as you’re reading this…
If someone took a side-on profile photo of you right now, would your head be forward compared to your shoulders? Your answer is likely to be a ‘yes’!
You might look like the picture above, where your head and neck is protruding forward compared to your shoulders, and that’s called a ‘Forward Head Posture’.
SO what’s the big deal? Aren’t most of us guilty of tending to slump into a forward head posture from time to time? Well, while most of us are guilty, and DO tend towards a forward head posture, it’s definitely NOT something you want to make a habit of.
A forward head posture places tonnes of load on your neck and shoulders…
Obviously, this can lead to pain and stiffness in those areas, headaches and even arm and back pain.
What’s more, if left unchecked, a forward head posture can lead to arthritis in your neck and upper back, restriction in your shoulder movement and, eventually, a hunched back!
You need to be determined to reverse it while you still can!
Here’s a quick test you can do to see if you have, or are heading towards, a forward head posture…
Stand with your back up against the wall, with both your bottom and shoulders touching the wall and your back flattened as much as possible. Does your head easily come back to touch the wall? If not, you really need some exercises to improve the strength and flexibility of your upper back and neck muscles!
The most important thing you can do to fix up a forward head posture is to bring the weight of your head back over your shoulders. The best way is to keep your eyes looking straight ahead, then slide your head back so your ears are more aligned over your shoulders. You might feel a bit like you’re making a double chin, but believe me, it feels way stranger than it looks til you’re used to it!
Now, keeping your head balanced over your shoulders try this tip…imagine you’re a puppet on a string, being pulled up tall by that string! Relax the front of your neck while you stay tall and… wallah! You’ve got super neck posture!
The challenge is to keep it there, so practice lots throughout your day!
Sitting is a killer when it comes to developing a forward head posture!
Because of how we end up sitting curled up with our upper back and shoulders rounded, our head and neck ends up protruding a lot more of the time compared with standing.
So make sure you remember the golden rules of comfort sitting at your desk- wiggle your butt back, lean back into your backrest and bring the weight of your head back over your shoulders!
That’s the best way to take a load off your neck and keep the aches away!