Improving Your Posture
Trust me, no one wants a turtleneck! And no, we’re not talking clothing; we’re talking poor posture that results from sitting at a computer monitor too long—otherwise known as the forward head tilt, or turtleneck. This humpback posture can eventually lead to a painful shortening of the muscles of the back of the neck, as well as compression of the cervical vertebrae. Sitting all the time leads to decreased core strength, which is terrible for your back, neck, shoulders and your internal organs. The longer you sit your computer with weakened core muscles, the more prone you are to slouching and neck strain.
But there is hope! First, start by making sure your computer monitor is at the correct height. Sit up completely straight with two feet on the floor (uncross your legs) and adjust your monitor to eye level so you never have to look down.
If you can feel yourself starting to slump, pull your shoulders straight up toward your ears, roll them back, and then relax them. Ideally, your ears should be aligned with your shoulders, and your head should be aligned with your tailbone. Tilt your head slowly forward and rest your chin on your chest. Hold this position for five seconds and then return your head to a natural position. Then, turn your head to the left until you feel a slight stretch and hold it for five seconds. Return your head back to its normal position and then repeat on the other side. Finally, push your chin forward, stretching your throat and hold this position for five seconds.
Another helpful solution is to alternate between sitting and standing, as well as periodically changing out your traditional desk chair for a yoga ball chair. This can dramatically improve abdominal strength, inherently correcting issues with posture. Because a yoga ball is relatively unstable, your body is forced to constantly make small adjustments in your core and lower body, building strength. You should start to see an improvement in your posture in just a few short weeks with these exercises. Give it a shot, and say goodbye to the turtleneck!