5 Ways Executives have Improved Posture:5-10 minutes of targeted stretching
before bedMovement meetings and breaks – walking and talking for
one-on-one’s, hourly flight of stairsHalf and Half workouts–
half mobility and half targeted strengthOn-the-road yoga – online
yoga memberships to practice in hotel roomsTennis ball foam rolling –
can be done almost anywhere (not safe while driving)
When I say “faking posture”, I mean those moments when we
are sitting at a desk hunched over the keyboard and leering at the screen
to suddenly sit upright when someone steps into the office. Or when we
exaggerate a confident image by squeezing our shoulders together at a
presentation. For whatever reasons we fake posture, it’s a short-term
solution. It is hard work to fight against muscular imbalances and gravity.
Videos and pictures on the “perfect” posture, while they can
help reduce stress on our joints, are unrealistic to achieve for an hour,
let alone as a long-term solution. Do you suffer from poor posture? Move more.
Test if you can sit or stand with a perfect posture for 30 minutes and
feel relaxed, eg breathe deeply and normally while doing actual work.
After 30 minutes, stand up and walk around for 1 minute. Sit back down
and assess your posture.Dr. Stuart McGill is a low-back pain expert from
Canada whose research I have followed over the past decade. His advice
that a healthy posture cannot be achieved without movement has worked
time and again with my clients. He helped uncover the myth that crunches
and sit-ups can reduce low-back pain back in the 90’s. Many exercises
that used to be prescribed for low-back pain, in fact, made it worse because
they often isolated and strengthened muscles already shortened from long
periods of sitting – your hip flexors and rectus abdominis. Dr.
McGill prescribes varied movement as one major step to help your posture.
Circle your arms, circle your ankles, change your sitting position, walk,
add in a stretch, shift your weight when standing, bend forward to stretch
your backside, or extend your arms above your head to stretch your frontside.
At Hoag Executive Health we perform a posture screen and design quick
stretching series to achieve muscular balance and the ability to stand
or sit well without all of the effort. In the meantime, great success
can be achieved just by moving.
By Kyla Bauer, Exercise Physiologist, PN1 Coach