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March 2018 Simple solutions to neck and shoulder problems when sitting

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Safe effective neck and shoulder exercisesAdmittedly we have had a bit of a rough ride this winter, what with the odd flake of snow, occasional drop of rain and the hint of a breeze periodically introducing itself to our shores. It is hard not to crank your shoulders up to your ears and crunch your neck down into your body as you brace yourself against the inclemency.

It is of course an attempt to keep one’s self warm but you may have noticed, a rather ineffective one. The problem with persistent cold and damp is that our postural reaction morphs into a state of permanence.

If you can relax your shoulders down as you continue to read on, then you too my friends are morphing.

Even when in more clement climes the response to stress, busyness, slouched posture, pain (it’s a long list and this is only the tip of the pile) has the same effect as the cold.

Away with morphing

Simply dropping your shoulders and straightening your spine is easy enough a concept to understand but one of the hardest to attain as a normal state of being. Poor design fault I agree but that said, one to be diligent about and to give thought to at any opportunity. It affects the way in which your entire body operates.

As you read on try lengthening your spine through the back of your neck to your FULL height; raise your breast bone and stretch your shoulders backwards and feel the effect on your feet, legs, buttocks and stomach muscles. Correcting your posture from the top down has a positive bottom up response as well. Now there is an effective design innovation.

How sitting can impact your neck

sitting correctlyIntroducing Notsosittyuppy on the left with a compressed neck placing unnecessary stress and strain on the neck.

On the right is Sittyuppy with a lengthened neck allowing the spine to move more freely and efficiently.



Let’s make it easier

It is in fact easier to move into the correct posture from the opposite direction. So if you want to drop your shoulders then scrunch them up to your ears as far as you can and THEN drop them down. If your shoulders need to be stretched backwards then first hunch them forwards as far as you can.  Stop reading and have a go…

Moving more efficiently is easier when moving, compared to holding a static posture for any length of time. As the familiarity, strength and confidence grows so will the ease, frequency and length of time you can maintain an efficient posture. Another good design modification.

Having ants in your pants

There are times when having ants in your pants is a good thing, to be recommended in fact. You may remember as a child hearing the words “Stop fidgeting! Sit still!” I can say with absolute certainty you were right to fidget and I invite you from this day forth to fidget freely and frequently.

To maximise the concept of frequently fidgeting freely picture yourself sitting in an orb. Obvious, yes? No? Stay with me.

Trying to remember all of the exercises in all of the world that you could do when a moment or inclination presents itself can quickly fizzle into nothing because, heck, which one to select as your 10 seconds ticks away?  By the time you have thought about your options your 10 seconds is up. 

‘The Orb’

Shoulder and neck exercises sitting at your deskSitting inside the orb will present a vast spherical surface area all around you. Instead of trying to remember all of the exercises in of all the world, (without straining or causing any pain) attempt to contact as much of the surface area with your hands and feet, to the left to the right, to the top to the bottom and round and round.

Make yourself aware of the areas that are hard to reach because you feel tight or weak or where your balance is challenged. These areas are your “exercises”. 

The more random unplanned movements you introduce to your body, the greater the range of joint and muscle groups your body will be firing. This in turn facilitates greater overall strength, flexibility and balance control.

The more repetitious, controlled and sequential any exercise programme is, the less you give your body the opportunity to maximise its response to sudden uncontrolled startled movements. Life is packed with sudden uncontrolled startled surprises waiting to test you out.  The more used to them you become, the greater the likelihood your body will respond with greater efficiency and dynamism reducing the chances of stress and strain.

N.B. The environment you find yourself in when embracing the benefits of your inner orb may determine how elaborate you choose your moves to be, but you can modify accordingly. 

The message today:

Move your body, be creative, mix things up and move in ways that are new to you. The more you stretch your arms and body the more stability flexibility and strength you bring to your neck and shoulders. This in turn offers greater protection from unwanted pain and tension. Top tip. Win win.




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