“Somewhere, something went horribly wrong.” That’s usually the caption that accompanies the image above, describing how the theory of evolution has somehow gone awry with the advent (and eventual addiction) to the computer. Man may have evolved to stand upright, but how many of us find ourselves hunched over a computer all day? As a freelance writer, I spend an inordinate amount of time in front of my computer, either researching topics or producing articles for my freelance clients.
As a result, my posture is far from being the best. I guess I’ve always had an issue with posture, because I had a tendency to slouch growing up, whether it be when I was in class at school, watching television at home, or playing video games. Over the years, this has developed into some mild back problems and, well, it’s about time that I do something about it. I can no longer blame being addicted to the Internet for my posture issues.
Before my back problems get any worse, it’s important that my posture gets better. I am committed to the strategies described below and, with a little luck and a touch of hard work, I just may be able to sit up straight in front of the computer again. It’s like I’m trying to reverse the reversed evolution depicted above.
Keep Both Feet Flat On The Floor
This is something that schoolteachers and parents have been telling kids for years. When you are sitting at a desk, you should plant both your feet flat on the floor in front of you, roughly shoulder-width apart. Do you sit cross-legged? I know that I have a tendency to either cross my ankles in front of me or prop my feet under me (so that only my toes are making contact with the ground). Under all these circumstances, you are placing your spine out of alignment. Step one for me is to keep both feet flat on the ground when I am at the computer.
Strengthen Those Core Muscles
When you partake in a freelance writing career, or any computer-oriented occupation for that matter, it can be easy to fall into a lifestyle of lethargy. It would certainly be admirable to lead a more active lifestyle and one of my areas of focus will be my core muscles. This would be my back and my midsection, as these muscles are absolutely integral to good posture.
Wii Fit Balance Games
When I first heard about Wii Fit, I thought it sounded gimmicky. More recently, people have modified its use for the purpose of Roomba control too. Well, even though I’ve only “played” Wii Fit for less than a week, I’m starting to see its value in overall fitness and, possibly more importantly to me, a sense of overall balance. Focusing on balance and good posture, I may learn to avoid crashing Segways and scooters yet.
Stand Straight, Stand Tall (and Stretch)
Just like what I mentioned about sitting with both feet flat in front of you, the same can be said about standing up. To improve your posture, you should learn to distribute your weight evenly on both feet. Stand up straight. I know that I have a tendency to shift my weight either to the left or the right while standing (and that could explain my balance issues too). Making a conscious effort to be well-centered can make a world of difference.
Got Any Other Suggestions?
If you work at a computer all day like I do, there’s a good chance that you may have some minor (or major) issues with posture and back pain. Some of the steps that I have described above may get you to sit up a little straighter, but I’m always open to other suggestions as well. Are there any particular exercises or lifestyle changes that you found to be particularly helpful? Let me know through the comment form below!