In a recent New York Times article, “The Posture Guru of Silicon Valley,” Amy Schoenfeld discussed the correlation between back pain and posture.
In the United States, most office workers are huddled over their desk for many hours each day, which leads to back, neck and shoulder discomfort. However, it is not the long hours of sitting that brings on this pain, but bad posture habits.
In Silicon Valley, Esther Gokhole, has been working with a plethora of office workers on fixing their posture in order to relieve back pain. Gokhole does not use any technology or medical therapies, but helps students achieve a “primal posture” — a way of holding oneself that is shared by older babies and toddlers. During her sessions, students relearn how to sit, stand, sleep and walk.
According to Gokhole, most Americans sit relaxed and slumped (think of a C-shaped spine), or arched up and tense (an S shape), while they should be sitting upright and relaxed (a tall J spine).
Listed below are some tips that Ms. Gokhole suggests in her classes that you can do at home:
- Guide rib cages that sway too far back so they are flush with the stomach.
- Roll hunched shoulders back and down.
- Release tension in your neck by re-centering your head over your spine and pull slightly up at the hairline of the neck, resulting in a lengthened and straightened spine.