Avoiding the mid-day Slouch

I won't dispute, ergonomics are key for any workplace. Regardless of how perfect the ergonomic set-up is however, if you assume one position for an extended period of time, it can take its toll. 

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After an extended time sitting, gravity tends to pull us down and our pelvis will often round under (as if we are tucking our tails so-to-speak). As soon as this pelvis rounds under, our low back flattens , our upper back rounds and our head slides further forward. Go ahead, try it! This posture when repeated over and over again results in an imbalance of tight short muscles, long weak muscles and a tremendous amount of extra pressure on various parts of the spine. 

Want to hack this posture and avoid the mid-day slouch? Try this simple "reset". 

1. HINGE forward at your hips (as opposed to rounding forward through your low back). You should feel your "sit bones" (ischial tuberosities) tip back behind you. 

2. Keeping your pelvis slightly tipped forward, stack your torso back over your pelvis. 

If you had been slouching, you will now feel "taller" and possibly even lighter. You may notice your head is now positioned closer to your shoulders and you have a small curve in your low back. If you don't notice much change, perhaps you weren't rounding under as much as you thought!

Check out the corresponding instagram post to learn 3 ways this posture can make-or-break your day!

Preventing Back Pain & Improving Posture...There's an App for That!

One of the best ways to prevent back pain is to keep moving. This can mean a lot of things to a lot of people though. With an estimated 1/3 of missed work in Canada attributed to back pain, being aware of preventive measures is an important consideration. Really, any position can be potentially harmful if repeated for long periods of time. Consider how many hours a day you spend sitting- reading, driving, watching television, using computers. The cumulative damage of these repetitive postures can sometimes go under the radar until pain or other symptoms surface. 

Canadian Chiropractors have developed an app to inspire daily mobility, improved posture and spinal health. It is a FREE resource with videos, printable materials and only takes 3 minutes a day. The program can be performed individually or is a great warm-up/ cool-down for daily activities.

Improving and maintaining good posture not only helps reduce or prevent back pain, but it will help to reduce daily joint wear and tear, improve spinal resilience and flexibility, and will help the body use less energy for daily tasks.

For more information and video content, click HERE or to download the app, click HERE.

 

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3 Favourite Home Care Tools

My plan for regular blog posts has clearly not panned out...yet! A lot is brewing though and I will be touching on topics in my blog that I will now be elaborating on in video for those needing more clarity!

The first videos I will be releasing shortly (find them here!) will be highlighting some of my favourite tools for body maintenance. I like these because the props do not take up a lot of space (for the most part), are not crazy expensive, there are a variety of ways to use each tool and they are effective! 

Below are my list of my three favourite homecare tools:

1. A rolling ball. These come in a variety of forms but you want one about the size of an orange with a little bit of "give". The one in the pic was purchased at fitterfirst here in Calgary and has some grip to it. It is designed for rolling, but you can use lacrosse balls or in some cases a quality tennis ball may work. This ball can be used to address muscular trigger points or to help resolve adhesions in connective tissue. 

2. A yoga strap. I prefer a long one (9' minimum) to allow for greater diversity in stretches. If you are a yogi, the strap can be an amazing prop in different postures to add stability or to enable you to find a more aligned and at times deeper expression or a pose without putting you at risk. For general body maintenance, the strap can be a helpful tool to stretch hamstrings, shoulders and to help reset posture.

3. A yoga bolster. If you have ever been to a restorative yoga class, you are likely already in love with this prop! This prop is great for supported stretches, allowing for long, gentle holds. I often recommend it for chest stretches/ opening and to help take pressure off of the upper back curve. It is also great for added support below your knees when laying on your back, or just below your hip crease when laying on your stomach. 

Stay tuned for specific strategies you can use with each of these props to support your body, reduce pain and ensure you can keep participating in the activities you love!