World Physical Therapy Day 2021: Best Exercises To Fix Your Posture For A Healthy Spine
World Physical Therapy Day is observed on 8 September every year. It was designated in 1996. The theme for the World PT day 2021 is rehabilitation and Long Covid.
World Physical Therapy Day is an opportunity to recognise the work of physiotherapists for the community
- World Physical Therapy Day is observed on 8 September
- PT aims to ease pain and help you function, move, and live better
- Exercising can help you counter the side effects of poor posture
As the pandemic began, professionals hastily set up their work stations at home thinking it was a temporary option and would soon return to office. Over the last one year, many people have spent countless amounts of money on finding the ideal home office furniture. Considering it's a home, one would like it to be aesthetic and at the same time spatially placed. People have extensively read about home ergonomics and tried to incorporate it into their new work lives, but many still find it difficult or inaccessible to work with a desk set up and continue to work from a sofa! A spike in the number of posture related inquiries and services in the last one year has been reported. Most of these are due to long working hours, poor posture and lack of a proper work station. This further affects efficiency in performing day to day activities.
Since many are still continuing with the 'Work from Home' culture, you are still not late to save your posture. It is always better to make improvements before it's too late.
How to recognise and address postural inequality?
Apart from obvious physical appearance, here's how you can identify if you are having postural imbalance-
- Frequent aches and stiffness in your joints and muscles
- Random episodes of headache
- Curved neck, rounded shoulders and potbelly
- Back pain
One can follow simple lifestyle recommendations and some common exercises to improve and maintain a healthy posture. Whenever possible, it is recommended to get oneself assessed by an appropriate healthcare professional as every individual will have different areas affected.
Here are a few ways to fix incorrect posture-
1. Pay attention to your body-
Wherever you are working on the sofa, couch or chair, check for any kind of discomfort or strain. Your body will always tell you if something is not right. A small adjustment will always make the difference.
2. Be aware of your posture-
Try not to be over conscious but always keep a regular check about the way you sit, place your hand around the laptop, and concentrate over the screen. Look down with your eyes, not neck.
3. Move around often-
Do not keep things like water, tea/coffee or related items over hand reach distance. Always get up and move to grab the things you need. Getting up for water will help you move more. One should move around every 30-40 minutes. Make sure you stretch in between the breaks.
4. Work in a good light-
Make sure you have good lighting around. During day time, sunlight would be the best option. It goes the same with the kind of proper ventilation. Lack of both also contributes to postural malpractice.
5. Rest your eyes-
Keep the right angle for viewing the computers or other screens and an ideal head neck position. Along with this, don't forget to rest your eyes at regular intervals. Intermediately keep changing your view, look outside the window and if needed shut your eyes.
Some general exercises one can perform to improve or maintain posture
- Chin tucks
- Back extension
- Corner of the wall Chest stretches.
- Calf pumps
- Seated stretches
The above mentioned exercises are recommended in general for everyone. To avoid any further musculoskeletal complications, please consult a physiotherapist if the pain or stiffness persists for a longer duration or if you are not sure of the exercises to undertake. If you are hesitant to step outside for a physical examinaiton, call for at-home physiotherapy consultation or online physio sessions to seek help with your posture related ailments.
(Dr. Sagar Pathare, a Physiotherapist and Rehabilitation Lead-Mumbai at Nightingales Home Health Services)
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