Seated Posture: Part 6 Sitting Pretty
Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
Dear Fun and Fit: I am loving your posture videos! I sit at a desk all day and I’m wondering if you would do a video on posture while sitting. Also, I find it easier to slouch at the computer (I sit on a backless stool) and I’m wondering why sitting up straight seems to take more energy? I am in my early 30’s and when I stand up straight in the mirror, my body looks lovely…and when I am doing my normal posture it looks schlumpy and not as nice. I’d love to change this and I appreciate your help ladies! :)) Sibby, Miami, FL
Dear Sibby: We are of the mindset and age that 30 year olds should look lovely, and mostly do. We know we did! Since you asked so nicely, we shot a posture video with three starter suggestions on achieving anti-slouching when seated.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLQVxZPBVBU[/youtube]
The real key though, is awareness, which you seem to have. We deduced this first by your compliment about out posture series videos 1-5. Obvious awareness! Second, you know when you are schlumping, you know when you’re up straight, you know when you’ve been bad or good, so be good for posture’s sake. (Make you think back to any holiday songs?). Third, you actually noticed that sitting in good posture takes energy. This level of awareness is your first, and best step to meeting your posture goals.
A few tips in addition to the video insights:
- When wanting to sit naturally and less stressfully, think “tall and extended with your heart lifted” rather than “straight.” The spine has natural curvature so a straight back would actually be out of alignment. Kinda painful too by the end of the workday.
- Good body alignment DOES take energy because we need activated muscles to achieve optimal spinal position and muscles are energy users, big time. However, the body seeks energy efficiency (secret body code for – how can I do the least?) Relying on joints, tendons, and ligaments to support a given position (this “schlumping” you confess to) is calorically (energetically) efficient. Sure, we pay the price later in sore joints, wimpy muscles, and posture that makes us look waaay older than 30!. As we sit hunched over, we are not using abs and back muscles.
- Check the relationship between your body and your work station. If the ergonomics are off, that is the first thing to change. Is your work station too low relative to your stool so that you have to hunch to reach the keyboard?
- Lastly, stand up every 15-30 minutes. This simple movement will remind you of your posture and get you out of any bad sitting habits at least temporarily.
Saaaay, are you schlumping while reading this? Lift your heart puhleeeze!
Readers: What do you do to remind yourself to sit lifted? What word have you made up to beat “schlumping”? (which we pretty much like and plan to adopt).
Nominate Alexandra Williams
for a social media award in the Shorty Awards