In terms of the spine, it is said that the head follows the body. However, sitting at a desk or anywhere in a chair for any extended period of time can seem to cause the body to follow its base instead. It’s base in this case is the sacrum, which is part of the pelvis and what you sit on. Most chairs tilt the pelvis backwards, designed to create length in the low back while sitting. This sounds good, right? But, it’s not really. The low back length comes at the expense of the mid and upper back, and more importantly, the neck and head. Where you end up is in a large slump, curving forward and down. As you may imagine, this is not the ideal position of strength for the bones, muscles or organs contained in the middle of the body. It’s exhausting just thinking about it. So, what’s to be done about it? We can’t generally change the fact that we have to sit, so perhaps we just need to sit better.
When you sit in a better way, you get out of the slump, and experience a fuller breath, a stronger spine and greatser energy as a result. Additionally, that aching back may feel a little better as your muscles, bones and joints get on board with your new healthier position.
So, how can you achieve this new, improved position, and with minimal time and effort? Afterall, you have enough to do already. Making significant changes can seem daunting, but sometimes it is the little things that make the biggest difference. In this case, small changes can yield significant positive results. That’s what we are going to focus on here. And, we’re going to do it in a few simple steps. So, read through the steps below, then give them a try.
1. Take a deep breath in, then let it out. Now, inhale again and leaning forward with your hands braced on the sides of the chair, slide your buttocks back as far as you can. Exhale. Then inhale and sit up tall without adjusting your base. Exhale and relax. This tilts your pelvis forward, which is the position in which it is most stable and strongest. It may feel awkward at first, but once you’ve done this a few times it will become natural.
2. Second, inhale deeply, sitting up as tall as you can, tail to head, feeling length through your back, sides and front. Staying tall, sit back into the chair as you exhale. Relax your shoulders.
3. And, finally, inhale and imagine your head extending up and away from your body with ease. This will lengthen your neck. As you exhale, draw your chin and ears back towards the space over your shoulders. Relax in this position and breath naturally.
These few simple steps are the first to take towards creating a stronger, healthier back and body doing something you do every day already. Sitting is not something we often think much about, unless we have pain. Then we look to other activities and treatment to solve the problem. This exercise is not designed to replace health care treatment or medical attention, which you should always seek before starting any new movment program.