|This is not sexy.|
Unfortunately, some of us spend the majority of the day in this position, at a computer desk, scrolling through Instagram, or even reading a book. As a result of these recurring movement patterns, the anterior muscles become excessively tight and chronically active, while the posterior muscles are long and under-active. This is the start of neck pain and potential cervical disk herniations down the line. (No bueno.)
Any type of corrective exercise you do to improve your posture will be for naught if you do not change your daily habits, as well.
|This is serious business. Don't end up like the last guy.|
There are a few different alternatives to combat this and create lasting postural changes. Here are two different ideas of how you can stay "on the grid" while simultaneously sparing your neck!
- Hold your phone higher, or use a standing work station. Instead of looking down at the screen, you can get a nice little isometric exercise for the shoulders by holding your phone at eye level. If your office allows for it, buy one of those standing desks so that you don't have to slouch in a chair all day.
- Try the Cobra position if you're at home (or if you have a really low key office where your coworkers won't look at you like you're a complete lunatic). This allow you to actually reverse the conventional hunched position and get some extension in the thoracic spine. Plus, this position is great for building a foundation of shoulder stability.
|I prefer to write all of my blog posts in the Cobra pose...|
Both of these positions allow you to maintain good posture as you read your e-mails.
Don't spend hours doing hundreds of corrective exercises, expensive physical therapists or chiropractors, and then proceed to look down at your phone all day. You will undo all of your (and your manual therapist's) hard work.
Remember that your body remembers patterns and repetition, so the position in which you spend the majority of your time is the one to which your brain will revert. You can crack your neck and stretch until the cows come home, but none of those changes will have any lasting impact without first considering your day-to-day habits and positions.