For most of my working life, I’ve been on my feet training clients. Since I opened my gym 8 months ago and became an administrator/accountant/human fire extinguisher, I’ve been sitting a ton more. The busier my business gets, the more I sit. And the more I sit, THE MORE NAGGING JOINT PAIN I HAVE.
I swear, now there’s literally a ball of bunched up muscle tissue next to my left shoulder blade from the amount of time in this “human cashew” position. I feel for my fellow desk jockeys (“whickey-whickey, spin-it-back-one-time”).
My hips ached, my low back was always on fire, and my neck started to bother me. That was until I spent a day shadowing a physical therapist who specialized in computer ergonomics.
These were the 3 tips he gave, me. The best part? 2 of tips you don’t have to physically do anything except workout your Amazon One Click Purchase finger.
#1. Raise your computer monitor to eye level. Cranking your head downward causes forward head posture, rounded shoulders, and a rounded upper back. This means your rotator cuff is completely turned off,If you have a laptop, purchase an external keyboard and mouse, and raise your laptop on some books. You can also get a fancy laptop stand like this one:
#2 Purchase a kneeling chair. These are $65-150 on Amazon which is well worth saving you from multiple visit to the orthopedist. When you’re sitting, your hips are flexed, causing your quads to shorten. This is HORRIBLE for your knees, low back, and core. In the kneeling chair, your hips are at a 45 degree angle causing a lot less shortening of the quad muscles.
Also, the seat where your butt is has a sharp angle so you are not rounded at your low back and instead hinging at your hips. What we know from research on low back disorders is that the core complex from the top of the hips to the bottom of the ribs, and 360 degrees around, is meant to have ZERO MOVEMENT. Low back problems happen when the core complex is rounded, twisted, or bent. Shout out to low back research Stu McGill and that beautiful mustache of his.
#3 My last secret is to incorporate “bruggers” into your daily work routine. If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of bruggers, a move I stole from the most interesting chiropractor in the world, Tarek Adra.
What bruggers does so well is activate your rotator cuff and deep neck flexors to bring your shoulders and head back in a nice, neutral position.