Nov ’23 news: Adjusting for Good Health: One Change, Multiple Benefits

Woman Meditating On Rock with good posture

Nov ’23 news: Adjusting for Good Health: One Change, Multiple Benefits

Have you ever noticed that when someone says the word posture, people tend to sit up straight and correct slouching? Well, this newsletter serves as not only a reminder to practice good posture habits (you’re welcome) but also a knowledge bank of the motivational information you need to maintain that healthy posture – so hopefully after reading this, you won’t have to rely on the word being dropped into random conversations to make your adjustments.

Read on for more details about positive posture pros, shoulder health & recovery post dislocation, and a relook into Ergonomic Desk Setup to see how you’re doing after that positive new-year start. Enjoy.

The Positives of Practising Posture Precision

(Go on, say that three times as fast as you can.)

Posture plays a crucial role in overall health and well-being, influencing not only the musculoskeletal system but also various physiological functions. Poor posture can lead to a range of issues, including back and neck pain, muscle imbalances, and decreased joint mobility.

On the flip side, improved posture can lead to a variety of positive side effects that you may not have even realised:

  1. Increased Lung Function: Slouching can compress the chest cavity, limiting the space available for the lungs to expand. Pulling your shoulders back and down may lead to increased lung function and breathing by simply creating the space your lungs need to fully expand.
  2. Digestive Performance: Poor posture can compress the organs in the abdominal area, potentially leading to issues such as indigestion and slowed digestion. Again, giving your organs the space to expand and exist without restriction can have positive effects.
  3. Increased Energy: Maintaining an improper posture often requires more energy from the body to support the misalignment, which can lead to increased fatigue and decreased energy levels. Fatigue is one of those symptoms that links to many different conditions, but if you can rule out posture as a cause by improving your pose, then why not try it out?
  4. Improved Circulation: We’ve said it already, but slouching or sitting in a way that compresses the body has its side effects. Another is blood flow, which if restricted can lead to poor circulation, and numbness or tingling in the extremities. So try stretching out and opening up that body.
  5. Balance Boost: Over time, consistent poor posture can affect balance and coordination, increasing the risk of falls and injuries. Regaining balance is something that requires more than just good posture, however, it is another really great reason to sit up straight.
  6. Mood and Confidence: Ever heard of the Superman pose? While the jury is still out on whether this has any direct physiological benefits (for example hormone production), it doesn’t take a scientist to realise that an upright posture, or “power pose”, can make you feel more positive and, well, powerful. Try it out > In a standing positing, place your hands on your hips, with your shoulders back and watch the clock for two minutes. Our guess is that you’ll feel slightly more powerful than you did two minutes ago.🦸

So there you have it; addressing and correcting poor posture through exercises, ergonomic adjustments, and lifestyle changes can help mitigate the negative side effects and promote overall health and well-being.

Read on for more posture tips you can put into action today, or to speak with one of our physiotherapists about a personalised treatment plan for improving your general strength and posture, contact us at the clinic.

Save Our Shoulders

Sports-related shoulder dislocation and subluxations are a common occurrence in the world of athletics. These injuries can be painful and debilitating, affecting both professional athletes and weekend warriors alike.

There are many causes for shoulder instability, dislocation or subluxation – from structural deficiency, such as a traumatic tearing of the ligaments that hold the ball onto the shoulder socket, abnormality in the shape of the ball and/or the socket (causing the shoulder to slip out of position and dislocate or sublux). And sometimes the cause of instability is could be a result of posture or even bad luck. But never fear, as our team of experts can help regardless of the cause…

If you’ve experienced a shoulder dislocation, we invite you to call (02) 9438 1782 to make an appointment with a member of our team. In the meantime, jump over to our latest blog for everything you need to know about Shoulder Dislocations and how Physio can help.

Programs for Good Posture

As the silly season intensifies, so too do stress levels and general feelings of decreased well-being. Posture is probably the last thing on your mind as you rush from pillar to post, but as we’ve highlighted already, there are so many benefits to sticking with a positive posture routine or healthy habits that contribute to good posture. While our term classes will finish up with the end of the school term, there are still several weeks until then on which you can work on your strength and health training, for improved posture and overall wellbeing.

And if you’re looking for something to keep you motivated over the summer break, check out our Strava run club. It’s not competitive (but can be if you want that) or judgemental, just a friendly group of people that track their times and cheer each other on – and yes, while it’s a run club, walkers are absolutely welcome to join too.

For more information about our term classes, contact us at (02) 9438 1782 or follow the link to join the Strava group.

Whatever your level of ability, we can find a class or program to suit you.

The Education Quarter

Ergonomic Desk Setup

Back in January we discussed healthy habits at work. How is all that going? If one or two habits have stuck and you’re ever so slightly healthier and happier at work, we’ll consider that a win. But we won’t judge if you need a reminder from time to time. So, this month we’re jumping into ergonomic desk set-up (in a little more detail.) But if you remember it all keep reading anyway… It’s always good to refresh the memory bank!

The ideal desk set-up involves a multi-million-dollar lottery win that means you only need to sit down occasionally for the odd bit of life admin, but since we live in reality…

Skeleton sitting at an office desk

The Set-Up

First and foremost, your chair is your best friend in this journey. Invest in one that supports your lower back and encourages good posture. Your feet should rest flat on the floor, so adjust the chair’s height accordingly. If your feet don’t quite reach, consider using a footrest.

Now, let’s talk about the desk itself. It should be at a height where your arms can rest comfortably on the surface, forming a 90-degree angle at the elbows. If your desk isn’t adjustable, you can use a keyboard tray or adjustable armrests to achieve the ideal height.

Speaking of keyboards, make sure yours is positioned so your wrists are straight and not bent up or down while typing. A wrist rest can help keep your wrists in a neutral position, reducing strain.

The computer screen is where your eyes spend most of their time. The top of the computer screen should be at eye level, so you don’t have to crane your neck up or down. If your screen is too low, stack some books or use a monitor stand. Additionally, ensure that the screen is about an arm’s length away from your eyes.

Now, let’s tackle the keyboard and mouse. Your keyboard should be close enough that you can type with your arms relaxed, and your wrists straight. Your mouse should be at the same level as your keyboard, and you shouldn’t have to reach too far to use it. Consider using a mousepad with wrist support to keep your hand and wrist in a comfortable position.

Lighting is often overlooked but plays a significant role in your workspace comfort. Natural light is ideal, but if that’s not possible, use adjustable desk lamps to ensure even and glare-free lighting. Nobody likes squinting at a screen!

The Little Things

Cable management is another aspect of ergonomics. Keep your cables organised and out of the way to prevent trip hazards and to maintain a clean and tidy workspace.

Taking breaks is vital for your overall well-being. Even with the perfect ergonomic setup, sitting for long periods isn’t ideal. Set a timer to remind yourself to stand up, stretch, and move around every hour. Stand while on the phone, look out the window while thinking deeply, walk to the water cooler… whatever it takes.

A touch of greenery can do wonders for your mental health – not really ergonomics – but important, nonetheless. Personalise your desk with pictures and pot plants.

Creating an ergonomic desk setup is an investment in your health, your well-being, your efficiency, and productivity. Your chair, desk, keyboard, and monitor should all work together to support your body and reduce strain. Take the time to adjust and customise your workspace to fit your needs.

We hope that’s a useful reminder. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram for more healthy hints and tips. And if you need any help with your desk set-up or anything else at all we are here to help. Call us on (02) 9438 1782 for an appointment at St Leonards Physiotherapy.