Everybody knows that good posture is important. Good posture is defined as sitting with our ear over our shoulder and our shoulder over our hip as if they were in a straight line (Figure 1).
However, we all fall into the trap of sitting in a chair or at our desk with a forward head and rounded shoulders (Figure 2).
Poor posture leads to neck pain, tightness through the chest, limited shoulder mobility and a stiff upper back. Stand up desks are helpful, but over time we forget our good body mechanics and fall right back into the same routine. Our result? Neck and upper back pain, tension headaches and frustration.
Our kids are no different when they are sitting on their phones and playing their video games (Figure 3).
We know we’re supposed to do something about it, but we get busy and forget. So, what can we do to help out the whole family? It’s always beneficial to go to the gym and strengthen our upper back muscles to help improve our posture, but what can we do on a daily basis right at home?
Just lie down!! Step 1: purchase a firm foam roller, 3’ long and 6” in diameter. You can also do these directly on the floor with a rolled-up yoga mat, big blanket or long towel. Step 2: Lie down and open your arms as if you were making a big T (Figure 4) and relax for at least 30 seconds, up to five minutes.
Step 3: If you’re feeling ambitious, go to YouTube and search OrthoRI Rehab. Locate the foam roller posture program playlist and follow along. Or click here!