Sunday, October 14, 2007

Stand up Straight and Don't Slouch!

I spend a lot of time sitting in front of the computer, painting at the kitchen table or working on various kinds of creative projects. Many many hours are spent bent over or leaning forward working on these time consuming projects and usually I do not take time out to stretch or straighten my back . My family has been telling me for years that my back is starting to round out. They are afraid that I will end up looking like the hunchback of Notre Dame.

I have been trying to keep my back straight but once I become engrossed in something, it's a lost cause. I decided I needed help so I went on ebay and bought a posture control brace. It wasn't very expensive and there was not much to it. The straps were too long so I had to cut them down and then the contraption fit me better. The first day I wore it, I couldn't breathe because I had it on that tight. Within 2 hours I was so nauseated out of my head and had a massive headache, I had to take it off. Apparently it was causing me to stretch muscles in my back and neck that I haven't used in awhile and it was making me sick. This was going to be tougher than I thought.

The second day, I decided to put the device on but looser and although I am not sure the brace itself is doing anything, it is at least providing a constant reminder for me to consciously keep my back straight.

Poor posture is becoming more the norm these days because of the types of jobs that we do. Hours sitting at the computer or at a desk can contribute to poor posture habits which can result in back pain, poor breathing, tension headaches, weakened discs that can herniate, and development of dowager's hump in the upper back.

Strengthening lower abdominal muscles will help and one exercise is to :
Sit in a straightback chair with feet flat on the ground
Keep head erect
Shoulders back against chair
Pull up and in lower abdominal muscles
Keep abdomen flat
Keep breathing and hold for 10 seconds
Relax and repeat 3 to 4 X
Do this 3 times a day

I should have listened to my mom when she said, "Stand up straight! Don't slouch!" I didn't always listen to her advice but in this case, she knew what she was talking about.


BetteJo said...

Yeah - I've had back problems now and then and always find when it starts to hurt - it always feels better to sit or stand up straight. It IS tough to remember to do it though. Good luck with that brace!

palette48 said...

Thanks, my back is sore but I think the brace is helping.