Daily Exercises to Improve Posture - Balance Chicago Physical Therapy

Daily Exercises to Improve Posture

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Daily Exercises to Improve Posture

Occupations are becoming increasingly sedentary, where sitting for the majority of the workday is commonplace. Prolonged sitting has negative effects. Increased sitting time is associated with elevated reports of fatigue, affected mood, high blood pressure, and increased muscle and joint pain (Daneshmandi, Choobineh, Ghaem, & Karimi, 2017). In addition, the prevalence of muscle and joint pain in office workers is between 40-80% (Katz, Amick, Carroll, Hollis, & Fossel, 2000). If you are struggling with aches and pains throughout your workday know you are not alone and there are actions you can take to diminish the symptoms.

 

Postural exercises along with planned movement times during your workday, can help you counteract the effects of prolonged sitting. The benefits of performing postural exercises daily include:

  • Improving your posture
  • Reducing your muscle and joint pain
  • Reducing fatigue
  • Enhancing your mood

(Kim, Cho, Park, & Yang, 2015)

Exercises

There are many exercises you can do to help improve your posture and to address muscle imbalances that develop from prolonged sitting. A few exercises that can be done relatively easily at work include: 

Scapular Retractions

  • Perform this exercise in sitting (or standing). Make sure you are sitting up tall to begin. Squeeze your shoulder blades back and together. You should feel the muscles between your shoulder blades engage. Hold this for five seconds and then relax. Repeat this twenty times and perform this three times throughout your workday.

Wall Angels

  • Perform this exercise with your back against a wall with your feet positioned forward slightly. Pretend like you are making snow angels on the wall. Try to keep your fingers as close to the wall as possible without letting your back arch off of the wall. Repeat this twenty times and perform this three times throughout your workday.

Chin Tucks

  • Perform this exercise in sitting (or standing). Make sure you are sitting up tall to begin. Slowly and gently move your head backwards. Repeat this twenty times and perform this three times throughout your workday.

Core Strengthening & Back Mobility

A strong core provides a stable base for your spine, shoulder blades, and head to rest and move. Back mobility exercises will counteract the stiffness that comes with lack of movement. To take your daily postural exercise routine to the next level, try these exercises in addition to those listed above:

 

Core Strengthening Exercises

  • Planks are a great way to strengthen your abdominal muscles. This can be done both forward and sideways. There are many different variations and it is important to find a version that is the right challenge level for you.

 

Back Mobility Exercises

  • Open books are a great way to address stiffness into your back. Begin by laying on your side with your knees bent and your arms positioned straight out in front of you. Your arms should be stacked on top of one another with your palms touching. Open the top arm towards the ceiling and then all of the way back behind you. Then reverse the motion and return your arm back to the starting position. Perform twenty of these on both sides.

Maintain Good Posture

Prolonged sitting contributes to a stiff back, a tight chest, and weakness into our core and mid back. Adding in the above exercises can help make it easier to obtain and maintain a good posture. Postural exercises can also help to reduce some of the aches and pains that are associated with prolonged sitting. Give it a try!

 

The Balance Chicago Team is here to help you! For more information, or to schedule your appointment, give us a call or click the link above. We look forward to working with you soon!

Blog Written By: Dr. Maria Brady, PT, DPT

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