This post is an update from a earlier post I wrote about leaning back in your chair. This lean is unconventional – but a valid strategy for good posture. Sitting up straight at your desk is a simple rule that you, along with most other tech pros, totally fail at. After only a short time working, the overwhelming effect of gravity pulls you down into a familiar position: the dreaded slouch. This slouched posture stresses your lower back, rounds your shoulders, extends your neck, and causes all sorts of pain. This is no secret…you are aware of how bad slouching is. The problem is that slouching becomes almost impossible to prevent during an extended amount of time in static positions. Even if you have “fancy” equipment like a ball-chair it won’t prevent you from bad positions.
Here is the trick: you don’t have to sit at a perfect 90-degree angle to have good posture. You are free to move back and forth in your chair as long as you hinge from your hips and keep your back straight. Let me explain…
Humans evolved hinging from their hips to generate power and endurance. This is why your gluteal muscles are the largest and most powerful in your body. This same “paleo” position protects the spine and decreases stress during heavy lifting. Dr. Stewart McGill, the leading spine researcher in the world, adds that “the ability of the athlete to train hip motion with a stiffened core is paramount for enhancing performance…Thus, the fundamental movement pattern we call the “hip hinge” is needed.” Sitting for long hours is an athletic endeavor; it requires a great deal of core strength and endurance to avoid poor positions. To avoid fatigue and distribute postural stress you need to learn techniques that recruit your powerful gluteal muscles and allow freedom to move – hip hinging at your computer is a key strategy for working pain free.
Unfortunately, the foundation of ergonomics is centered around standardized workstation measurements instead of healthy human movement. This dated perspective is full of dogmatic regulations and has got to change. Look at this dude below…can anyone really sit like this all day???
Paleo posture uses a wider range of movement and motion to decrease static postures. Instead of only sitting up straight frequently spend time hinged forward or back in your chair and change positions to prevent the dreaded slouch.