Why Do People at the Gym Have Bad Posture?

Woman with a forward head posture doing biceps curlsDo you know how to work out at the gym so that you don’t aggravate your bad posture even further? Here is another guest post by Dr. Natalie Cordova.

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“Maybe they just don’t know” I thought to myself after looking around the gym. I mean, they’re at the gym, working out, trying to take better care of themselves. They must have a serious interest in looking and feeling their best. Why else would they be here? Still I wondered, “Why do so many people at the gym have bad posture?”

As I sat watching, it became very clear to me the problem. They were all doing it. Bad posture on stair climber, bad posture on the treadmill, bad posture on all the weight machines.

A lot of people were using the equipment improperly, but that wasn’t telling the whole story. Most the exercises being done were all going to make the person’s posture worse, not better.

In any attempt to improve posture through exercise, you have to consider a couple of things. What activities do I do all day that may be contributing to my bad posture? What muscles do I need to exercise in order to make my particular posture problem better?

The first one is pretty easy for most computer users. They know they are hunched over the computer all day making things worse. Then their posture changes little when they drive home, when they eat their dinner, and when they sit on the couch. It’s all the same posture! Each one of these positions makes the muscles in the front of the body shorter while increasing the length of the muscles in the back.

Then they head off to the gym and continue to work the front muscles while ignoring the back. Maybe they work the front and back muscles equally at the gym? However, their daily activities are still “front-heavy” and they have to consider that during their workouts. Chances are they should be working out their backs twice as often as their fronts! For some people the ratio might even be 3:1.

The bottom line is going to be the results they are after. If they sit in front of the computer all day, then go to the gym and ride a stationary bike for an hour, they are still hunched over. They have to spend time exercising their back muscles and stretching the muscles in the front of the body.

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Good posture is about balance. Balance from front to back and from side to side. Many people at the gym try to keep things balanced while doing their exercise. They would never work out their right arm and not their left. They do “chest” one day and “back” the other. But how does this work when their daily activities spend so much time ignoring the strengthening of the back? Where does it balance out? It can only balance out if you work the back muscles at a higher frequency than the front.

Work on having good form on the machines you use, and more importantly choose wisely the best activities and exercises to counteract what you do all day. It may not seem like much activity, but it’s enough to affect your posture and make long term changes in your spine and your health. It doesn’t need to be like that!

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Dr. Natalie Cordova is a posture exercise expert, chiropractor, and health educator. More information can be found at her website at  http://www.postureconfidence.com.

3 Simple Tips For Improving Your Sitting Posture

If you work at a computer or otherwise sit for long periods of time, it’s very likely you’re no stranger to neck, back and shoulder pains.

It’s your poor sitting posture that is to blame for your pains. Luckily, sometimes all that is needed to get rid of pains and aches, is a few simple posture corrections that you can apply instantly. Here are my three tips:

Tip 1:  Gently Arch Your Low Back

Sitting for hours on end fatigues your core muscles, and you may end up sitting in a slumped position that robs your lumbar spine of it’s natural arch (I’m sure you know what I’m talking about).  Slumping causes lower-back pains and can lead to bulging and herniated disks.

A simple way to correct the alignment of your lumbar spine is to position the base of your chair so that it slopes gently downward. This elevates your hips above your knees and helps recreate the natural arch in your lower back. large firm tush cush seat cushion

The downward slope can be achieved either by using [Read more…]

Two Simple Tips for Comfortable Laptop Usage

Woman using laptop computerDid you know that computer-related injuries have been on the rise since people started purchasing more laptops than desktop computers?

Most problems related to laptop usage could be easily avoided by acquiring a height adjustable laptop stand and a separate mouse and keyboard when you first purchase your laptop.

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I recently had first hand experience of laptop problems myself. My old desktop computer broke down at the end of June and I ended up purchasing a sleek new 15.6” HP Pavilion Notebook. I thought my new laptop would be comfortable enough to use if I attached my old keyboard and mouse to it (I hate touch pads because the cursor always goes wild).

I was wrong. Soon after I started using my new laptop, my tension headaches made a comeback. [Read more…]