Your Posture Sucks and STOP Blaming Your Desk Job.
When you look at pictures of yourself, what do you notice? Your head creeping out in front of your body. Your upper back and shoulders rounded out. One shoulder higher than the other. Your head slightly tilted to one side. Don’t blame your desk job, that’s not the cause. Neither is your infrequent visits to the gym. Sure, when you’re thinking about it you can straighten yourself up a bit, but as soon as you stop thinking about it… Mr. or Mrs. Slouchy McGee comes back. What’s up with that?
Your desk job… time in the car… time on the couch… they can make the underlying problem worse, but those activities aren’t the root cause. If you were to sit less and go to the gym more that would help… a little, but again it wouldn’t address the root cause of poor posture. And as far as going to the gym, you had better be working on the muscles on the back side of your body more than the muscles on the front half of your body or you’ll make the poor posture problem worse, not better. And you should be working on your flexibility just as much as your strength. Poor posture is rarely do to lack of strength.
So what is the root cause of poor posture?
The relationship between your head and neck… or rather, how level your head sits on the top two bones in your neck. Think about it… or don’t think about it… either way it won’t matter because you can’t simply change your head and neck relationship by thinking about it. You’ll need help for that (keep reading). It all has to do with neurological and structural reflexes called “neck on body” or “righting” reflexes. Reflexes are automatic… as in you can’t just turn them off because you don’t like them.
Can you picture and 1 year old kid trying to walk? Or the last time you saw a really, really drunk guy trying to walk? Where their head goes their body follows – it’s just the way we’re neurologically wired to work. It all has to do with the neurological information (afferent and efferent nerve signals) between your upper neck, eyes, ears, and balance centers in your brain stem. Stuff you can’t fix with few yoga classes, neck wedges, or a standing desk at the office.
So what can you do?
Find a doctor that can properly evaluate your head and neck relationship (upper cervical chiropractor) and whether or not that relationship is at the root cause of your poor posture. Once that relationship is improved then, and only then, will all the other stuff you’ve already tried (going to the gym, standing more and sitting less, yada, yada, yada…) start to work as you hoped it would.