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The other day as my husband walked by my home office while I was slaving away on the computer, he jokingly commanded to me, “Sit up straighter!” Wow! What did I look like, the hunchback of Notre Dame? I know many of us spend countless hours at the computer each day, and if we were surrounded by mirrors, I am sure we would all be quite shocked as to the poor posture we employ as we crazily type away. I suppose that technology has gone from creating a generation of “couch potatoes” to a generation of “slouch potatoes,” as I like to say. You can be classified as a “slouch potato” if you are among the thousands who hunch over your computer keyboard several hours a day, and if you make an attempt to straighten up your back, it may even feel a bit tense or awkward at first. It is this very habit that may be contributing to that nagging pain in your neck or back. (I know…sometimes that nagging pain in your neck symbolically represents a person, but that I am not a therapist here. You will have to go to the mental health section for that one!)
Neck and back pain are typically associated with those people who engage in athletic pursuits or who work in physically demanding jobs. (What? Surfing the web is not physically demanding? Says who?) The truth is, the way you sit or stand has a great impact on your body. If you hold an improper posture while sitting, lying down, walking, or even just standing up, this can place undue strain on your neck and back muscles, as well as on the nerves surrounding them. As this strain builds up over time, you will begin to notice a variety of aches and pains in your back and neck. (Actually, as I am writing this, I have a dull lower back ache, muscular in nature, and as soon as I assumed a more upright posture, it dissipated. The trick is holding this posture without feeling like a statue! Why does maintaining this posture that is supposed to be natural feel so unnatural?)
So, how do you know of your daily habits of posture are affecting your various aches and pains? Let’s take a peek at head posture, for starters. Forward head posture is when your head begins to drift and lean forward.