Shoulder Health And The Importance Of Posture
The typical adult is awake for 15 hours and 45 minutes every day. According to the Annual Communication’s Market Report, 7 hours out of the 15 are spent in front of some sort of technology. Whether it is the television, cell phone or computer, people are spending more and more time sitting with poor posture. The typical seated posture we see with patients is a slumped forward position where the shoulders roll forward and the head is forward. Since we are in this position so often the body starts to think this is the norm.
Because the shoulder functions as a pulley system, if the shoulders are forward then it will throw the pulley system off, which is setting people up for potential shoulder injuries! So let’s talk about how to prevent these injuries with better postural awareness.
Sitting Posture Tips!
- Keep feet flat on ground
- Use a chair with lumbar support so you are able to keep your back in a straight position
- Arms should be parallel with the floor resting on a surface for support
- Whatever source of technology you are using – the top of the monitor should be at eye level or just below
- Head should remain straight
- Shoulders need to stay down and back
It is not surprising when you begin to implement better posture that your muscles could get tired and then you automatically return to the slumped position you were used to. My tip is that every time you look to see what time it is let that be a cue to check your posture! If that doesn’t work for you then you could set your alarm or find another reminder that is helpful to you. If you use a computer for work regularly then try to take breaks every 20-30 minutes and get up and walk around. Hopefully, if you follow these tips you won’t fall victim to the “technological injury!”
By Jenn Millen, PTA, ATC