Studies have shown that a large proportion of adolescents will sit with poor posture. Sitting for long periods of time in poor postures will increase the stress on your back neck and shoulders and can lead to pain. It is important to optimise these postures at a young age so that they don’t continue into adulthood.
An optimal posture while sitting should have your spine in a “neutral” position which is a position where it maintains its natural curves. This is why a chair with lumbar support is important to maintain the natural inward curve of your lower back.
Your shoulders should be relaxed and not rolled forward with your elbows at your sides. Your cheekbones should then sit naturally above your collar bones.
For those students who are studying at home on computers it is important to setup your home workstation properly. Using laptops or tablets should only be for short periods of time unless you are using a separate keyboard and raising the screen to an ideal height.
The other way to minimise the effect of sitting is to get up from your chair as often as possible and stretch.
These two stretches can be helpful when you are spending extended times sitting throughout the day.
Doorway Pectoral Stretch
- Stand in the doorway with arms on the sides of the door frame
- Push the trunk forward stretching through the chest and fronts of the shoulders
- Be mindful of not letting your ribs flare
- If you are tighter on one side focus on just that arm to allow for more postural symmetry
- Sit up in your chair, rotating around to the side
- Pull around on the back of the chair to get a deeper stretch
- Hold for one breath then slowly repeat to the opposite side
- Repeat 5 times to each side