Monday, December 6, 2010

Straighten Up!

Did you know that bad posture can mess with your whole system? It stresses and strains muscles and joints, as well as compressing blood vessels and it can drain your energy. And for any one trying to fight off age related skeletal changes, standing tall helps you preserve range of motion and stay young!
From the magazine Home Journal, here are three of the six most common bad-posture moments in your day, and some quick fixes for each of them!

1. Working At Your Computer: Most people hunch over their keyboard and point their head down, especially laptop users. Get this...every inch your head projects forward puts an added 10 pounds of pressure on your neck! This can trigger headaches and lower-back pain. Here is how you can fix it
  • Sit smart - your thighs and torso should form a 90 degree angle and both feet should be flat on the floor
  • Make your lap off-limits - The lower your computer or laptop, the more you head is pointed down
  • Don't overreach - Elbows should be bent at 90 degrees and wrists in a neutral position
  • Take a breather - every 30 minutes, get up to stretch and walk around
2.  Talking On The Phone: There is such a thing as cell-phone elbow! People tend to cradle the phone between their neck and shoulder even if it is in their hand. This compresses the nerves and blood vessels in the shoulders and elbows which leads to headaches and arm pain. Here are your quick fixes
  • Check yourself out - monitor how you look while on the phone by glancing in a mirror, then make some changes
  • Stretch away tension - stretch your neck out by tilting your head so your ear is near your shoulder and letting the opposite arm hang down
3. Carrying Your Bag: The cute oversize bag trend is still here, and your body is hurting from it. Lugging a heavy bag around on one shoulder can cause misalignment over time. Try these fixes
  • Lug less stuff - if your shoulder or back starts hurting after 10 minutes or you are sore by the end of the day, lighten the load
  • Share the burden - make an effort to switch your purse from shoulder to shoulder to avoid weighing down one side of your body
  • Take a load off - if there are days where you know you need to carry more, give your shoulders a rest and use a wheeled bag or carry more than one bag

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