Sitting up straight at your desk is a simple rule that you, along with most other tech pros, totally fail at. After only a short time working, the overwhelming effect of gravity pulls you down into a familiar position: the dreaded slouch. This slouched posture stresses your lower back, rounds your shoulders, extends your neck, and causes all sorts of pain. This is no secret…you are aware of how bad slouching is. The problem is that slouching is almost impossible to prevent during an extended amount of time in static positions.
Here is the trick: you don’t have to sit at a perfect 90-degree angle to have good posture. You are free to move back and forth in your chair as long as you hinge from your hips and keep your back straight.
Let me explain…
Humans evolved hinging from their hips to generate power and endurance. This same “paleo” position protects the spine and decreases stress during heavy lifting. Dr. Stuart McGill, the leading spine researcher in the world, adds that “the ability of the athlete to train hip motion with a stiffened core is paramount for enhancing performance…Thus, the fundamental movement pattern we call the “hip hinge” is needed.”
We can also look at data from developing countries which shows a lower incidence of lower back and neck pain compared to places where people sit all day. Why, you ask? Check out the picture to the left and notice the powerful stance these workers have. They are masters at hinging and keeping their backs flat. They work through long hours of manual labor all day and still have nowhere near the back pain we do!
So…how do we apply this idea to our days at the keyboard?
Paleo posture uses a wider range of movement and motion to decrease static postures. Instead of only sitting up straight frequently spend time hinged forward or back in your chair and change positions to prevent the dreaded slouch.
An easy tip to ensure you are keeping your spine straight is by using the “2 hand rule.” Place one hand at the bottom of your sternum and the other at the top of your pelvis. If you are hinging correctly, the distance between your hands should never change.
To integrate your paleo posture practice with a Lumo Lift, align your Lift post hinge to reset your baseline. Simply tap your Lumo 2x once your are in position. Go ahead..
Don’t have a Lumo Lift yet? No worries, get yours here.
Guest Post by Daniel Lord
Daniel has been teaching about posture and performance as well as consulted companies in the Bay Area on ergonomics for the past 5 years with his wellness team at Practice Posture. He combines the best practices from both professional sports as well as high level corporate wellness to deliver the most cutting edge approaches to physical health and wellness. Daniel works as the physical medicine lead for the Facebook Health Center with the integrated primary care medical group Crossover Health. He manages the physical therapy, acupuncture and chiropractic services at Facebook HQ. He also was in charge of Oracle Team USA’s sports medicine program during their campaign to win the 34th America’s Cup.
Learn more at practiceposture.com