1.) Think about the surface you sit on
Of course collapsing onto the couch is much more appealing – but for how long? A firm surface that angles your hips slightly above your knees will enable you to correctly align your pelvis and low back and allow optimal posture and spinal positioning to follow.
2.) Plant both feet firmly onto the floor for an instant posture fix
Try to avoid crossing your legs or tucking your knees up underneath you. Good spinal positioning is near to impossible to sustain in these positions. Also be mindful of the positioning of your pelvis. Aim to sit up on top of your sit bones, rather than rock back over them into a slump. The hip bones should be level to allow the spine the ‘grow’ up out of the bowl of the pelvis and give improved spinal alignment and posture.
3.) Align not only the vertebrae in your spine but also your head
You will no doubt become more and more engrossed in what you are doing, and find your nose 10cm away from what you are creating. Could this be the cause of the ache in your neck and the top of your shoulders? Any point toppling off the axis of the spine and deviation from good posture will require far more muscular effort to support and sustain.
4.) Be mindful of your shoulder positioning. It’s integral to good spinal positioning and posture whilst sitting
As you sustain a position with your arms out in front of you, it is extremely likely that your shoulders will soon follow suit and roll forwards. Think about the balancing and suspension of the shoulder girdle as a shared effort between the muscles in the front and back of the chest. Our bodies require symmetrical strength and muscular balance on both the left and right sides, and the front and the back of the body to achieve ideal posture and alignment.
5.) Take frequent breaks
This will allow you to come back to your project and ‘reset’ your ideal posture and spinal posture. Postural fatigue happens quickly, particularly as you become absorbed in your project.
You might also like to watch our video for some tips to help you perfect your posture – The Evolved Pilates Exercise of the Week. Episode 5: Shoulder setting and upper back movement
Photo courtesy of The New Zealand Railways Magazine May 1,1931
Article by Evolved Pilates 2014