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Bad posture at work, do Pilates in the office!
Ok have a look around the office, check out the posture of that person typing at the computer. Or look at the posture of that person heading out for a cigarette break :( What do you think? Look, really look ??? What about yours?
In our kettlebellsireland classes we have lots of computer athletes, as i would describe them. They come to us twice per week for 30 minute fitness classes. We have minimum time with them, so we get them in, train them, then get them off to lunch and back to work. I would love to spend more time with most of them to do more corrective work on their postures.
What you will see in your work place is the typical kyphotic posture. Head forwards, shoulders rounded and their spine rounding at the mid back area. They might also look like that they are missing a bum!!! You won't find it, stop looking! This is porbably due to the position of their pelvis. It's still in the seated position in a posterior tilted position. So they might also be missing the lower back (lumbar) curve.
When your work mate is standing have a look from a side view. Make sure they don't know you are doing this! Their spine should have an S shape curve, not too excessive though. What you will see is more like a C shaped curve. Now if you get caught looking you could be in trouble, the christmas party is coming, so be careful :)
Remember this could be your posture, so what can we do to combat this issue? Firstly i always recommend that people do Pilates a couple of times per week. This is something you can learn and do at home. Sure you can do Pilates anywhere. In the office chair you should be doing some Pilates work as you work, it's easy!
Right, sit tall, now sit taller and hold that position for a moment. Feel the seat with your backside. Be aware of the bones in each cheek, your sitting bones. You should have equal weight on each sitting bone. This will keep your pelvis and lumbar spine in a natural position. Keep focusing on the sitting bones and push the crown of your head to the ceiling in opposition. Breathe deeply, in through the nose and out through the mouth. Keep this quiet as you don't want to upset the office. Now draw you belly button in towards your spine gently or gently lift your pelvic floor muscles. Maintain this gentle contraction as you breathe. Gentle is the key word.
Do this for a couple of minutes on the hour, every hour or when you think of it. This will be energy consuming so do it bit by bit and it will all add up. Do the same when standing or walking. Push into the gound with your feet and lengthen your spine as often as possible. Use that mild core contraction (belly button to spine or pelvic floor lift) along with the optimal spinal posture.
Remember perfect practise makes perfect. Do little bits regularly and it will get easier to hold these positions for longer over time. If you don't want to comment on your work mates posture, just forward this article onto them, they will get the message then :)
Hope this helps and keep watching around you :)