Is sitting a pain in the neck?
The key to good posture is symmetry of the body. If your limbs are positioned symmetrically, your muscles will pull on your spine equally. Unequal pulling on the spine causes tension, which can lead to serious back problems. Crossing your legs for example alters the symmetry and causes the muscles in your back to pull harder on one side of your spine than on the other, causing your lower back to curve.
So how do you sit correctly? Choose a chair with a back that helps to maintain the natural curve of the spine. If you are sitting at a desk or table, sit with your buttocks fully in the chair and your feet flat on the floor in front of you. Pull your spine up straight against the back of the chair and keep your shoulders back, but in a relaxed position.
If you are reading, place the book directly in front of you on the table, so that you don’t have to twist your head to one side. Use a book stand if possible, or tilt your book up slightly so that your head doesn’t hang forward. When writing, lean forward from your hips rather than from your shoulders or back.
In the classroom, try to turn your chair so that you are directly facing the teacher or the chalkboard without having to twist your back or neck. Using just one armrest will tilt one shoulder up higher than the other and your whole spine will twist to one side.
One final point to remember – don’t stay in the same position for too long. If you have to spend several hours sitting during the day, try to get up and move around at least once an hour.
If you follow these tips and get into the habit of good posture, you will find that sitting won’t be such a pain in the neck!
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