You are hereHey! Sit up straight.
Hey! Sit up straight.
I've just come back from my first session of physio therapy and have learned that my spine is S-shaped and my neck is crumpled from years of pearing at a computer screen. What now? A number of sessions of painful physio and the constant repetition of this phrase: Sit up straight! Health experts say that good posture is a way to offset the risks posed by today’s technology-driven and deskbound lifestyle, but it's so much more easily said than done. Ballet dancers have it. So do serious practitioners of pilates, tai chi, and yoga. Those who sit parked in front of computer screens all day? Not at all. What is it? Good posture. Posture-related muscle aches and injuries, serious enough to cause missed days of work, occur in more than 600,000 Americans a year, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. And anyone who spends more than 95 percent of their workday sitting is at risk.These days parents spend more time worrying about their childrens exam results and after-school activities than their carriage. But some experts think a return to the days of 'sit up straight' reprimands are just as relevant. A report published last week in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that tai chi, which uses slow, repetitive movements, was effective at lowering the risk of falls in the elderly in half a dozen studies, most likely by improving their posture and sense of balance. Straightening our spines also enables us to breathe more air into the lungs, helping to circulate oxygen to vital organs and tissues. And we look taller, thinner, and more confident when we put our spines in that ideal neutral pose: belly in, pelvis tucked under, shoulders relaxed, neck in line with hips, and back straight but not arched, as if a string were suspended from the ceiling to hold the head upright. Maintaining this position for sitting, standing, and walking, the latest research suggests, might even affect how confident we feel about our ideas and power to persuade others. A January study from the Northwestern University in the U.S. found that volunteers who were told to maintain a straight posture when sitting not only projected more of a leadership ability to others, compared with when they were told to slouch, but also said they felt more powerful even when assigned the role of a subordinate in a role-playing situation. I've got a long was to go and at the moment I feel like a statue sitting with a rigid back posture on the train, on the bus and at my desk. But I do also feel healthier for doing it and hopefuly with some excersices to train those unused muscles, soon I'll be sitting up straight without even having to be told.