A week away from Thanksgiving and roughly a month away from Christmas and New Years, we’re headed straight into the festive holiday season where we surround ourselves with delicious food and great company, Fun festivities aside, one downside to the end of the year season is the drop in temperature that chill our bones — and our posture.
As I write this in our refrigerator of an office, I have to admit that my posture is terrible. I’m hunched over; my shoulders are up to my ears; and from a week of sitting like this, my back and neck pains are back. Even my beloved Lumo Lift that can normally buzz me back into good posture is having a hard time keeping me upright.
I brought this up in our company break room the other day when our in-house biomechanist Rebecca Shultz told me about the “Canadian Walk”, an endearing term for the scrunched up, tense posture Canadians walk around in to fight the (almost) unbearable cold. The key features of this walk are: clenched jaws, tense and rolled in shoulders, and tightened core.
This “walk”, or posture, is not just limited to folks in Canada; we see it often in offices with under-indulgent heating or over-eager AC units, schools, home, outside in the cold, etc. When the temperature drops, we instinctively curl up to reduce surface area to stop heat from escaping our bodies. A natural progression of this is to hunch over to huddle our core to keep our key organs warm and functioning. Great for survival, not-so-great for your posture.
The ideal posture is to sit or stand upright with your head up, shoulders down and back, spine straight and core engaged. Forcing your body into good, open posture when all you want to do is to curl up is a challenge, especially long term. Set yourself up for success by taking extra precautions to stay warm, wherever you are.
- Strategic Warming
Losing 40 to 45% of body heat through your head is a myth. However, there are other strategic places on your body that you can warm to stay cozy. Places like your hands, feet, neck, and cheeks are good parts to take extra care to layer and warm up; consider investing in thick socks, scarves to wrap around your neck, and keeping a mug of hot coffee or tea by your side to hold.
- Hot Beverages
Speaking of hot coffee or tea, staying warm can also be done effectively through drinking hot beverages or soups to heat from the inside out. Take a break from your refrigerated sodas or cold water and opt for hot tea / coffee, or this hot ginger lemon water recipe for an extra boost for your immune system.
- Ideal Temperature
At some point, we’re all guilty of cranking up and down the thermostat due to being too cold and then too hot. A Cornell University study shows that the ideal room temperature for comfort and maximized productivity is anywhere between 66°F to 77°F (18°C to 25°C). Of course, personal preference determines whether you prefer the lower or high end of the range, but next time you walk over to your thermostat, keep this in mind so that you don’t fall into the Goldilocks the too hot, too cold game.
Once you have the tips and tricks to stay at optimal temperature, you no longer have to fight against your subconscious that tells you to hunch over to stay warm and sets you up for success for maintaining good, upright posture throughout the day.
Get extra posture help with Lumo Lift
Lumo Lift is a small lightweight wearable that tracks and coaches you on your posture, as well as tracks daily activity, such as steps taken, distance travelled and calories burned. Compatible with iOS/iPhone, Windows desktop and select Android devices. Free shipping, 30-day money-back guarantee and 1 year limited warranty.
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