Working from home part 2
A quick recap, your spine is S shaped, not C shaped, if you haven’t yet read it the first post in this series is here
Beyond being aware of your posture and setting up your desk for improved posture there are a few other considerations.
a) How do you maintain a healthy Structure when your mind is active or busy with your work?
b) What are the exercises?
c) How often should you stand up, or shift your posture?
Let make this top heavy for those that just want the answers, then go into the detail for the people like me.
a) Habit, b) pelvic tilts and chin tuck, and c) every 20 minutes.
a) I have heard different numbers from different authors, but Bruce Lipton said that the conscious mind processes about 30 bits of information a second. The subconscious mind processes about 30 million… Therefore there are filters in place which determine what is important enough in the body to tell the conscious mind about. The example I always share is your clothing. Until I mentioned it, you probably weren’t thinking about the weight of your clothes against your skin, but now you are. In a few seconds you will have forgotten about it again. So for your mind to become more sensitive your bodies needs, for eg “move you have been sitting still too long”, or “retract your chin you head weighs too much”, you need to practice exercises everyday in order to strengthen the nerves which tell your brain what your body is up to… Does this make sense? This is why we practice exercises everyday.
Can you see then how this process means that instead of ignoring your body for years, until it has to Shout at you!! (oh your body shouting at you to do something different is also known as pain).
b) The two exercises that strengthen the nerve feedback, also known as raising body awareness, are pelvic tilts and chin tuck. If you have done Pilates you will likely have done these exercises before. For the rest of us, I will show you each of the two positions for each of the two exercises.
This is the pelvic tilt exercise. Feet nearly a foots length from the wall. Keep the pelvis and rib cage in touch with the wall the entire time. Arch the low back away from the wall by tilting the pelvis forward which is the picture on the left, you can see my belt for the angle of the pelvis. Then tilt the pelvis back to flatten the low back against the wall. Use the least amount of effort possible. Mentally focus on the movement of the individual segments of the low back, feel them tilt away from the wall, then press back into it.
This is the chin tuck exercise, keeping the rib cage and shoulder blades in contact with the wall, and with your chin parallel to the floor, protract forward, then retract back. Keep the head tall and bring the chin in as though to form a double chin.
You must do these exercises everyday, ideally multiple times a day. Each time do it for 30 seconds, or do ten at a time, even if you do it whilst cleaning your teeth so you remember to do it everyday.
Once you get used to them you can practice whilst seated, either at the desk or in the car (or on the bus when that is allowed again).
c) ok finally, there is a phenomonen known as ‘creep’ whereby the ligaments stretch if consistent pressure is applied to them for too long. The length of time after which the ligaments are stretched as so no longer offer support is 20 minutes. Therefore you should change position every twenty minutes. Even if start work at 9am, 9.20 stand up and sit down, 9.40 stand up, and sit down then at 10am, move away from the desk, try your spine movements for a minute then continue with work.
Hopefully this gives you more insight into spinal care. If you have any questions we offer online consultations, and remain open for people in pain.
Please contact me at email@example.com
Yours in health – Gary