Do you find yourself slouching at the computer?
Are you regularly looking down at your devices?
Has your posture deteriorated over time?
I can definitely answer a resounding ‘yes’ to two of those questions. In fact, because I have a tendency to slouch at the computer when I’m busy, I’m shocked that I haven’t woken up as a permanent human right angle.
For that reason, I’ve often done basic research on posture. I’m certainly not a posture expert, nor am I a neck-hump-ologist, but just like me, I suspect some of you are prime candidates for getting a neck hump.
Here are my ‘measured’ findings. That’s a pun, because of the right angle and all…
(By the way, if you are an expert, please add your advice in the comments section. Help us all out!)
First, what is a neck hump?
The experts say that a neck hump is a small hump at the base of the neck, which is generally caused by consistent ‘forward head posture’. As a result, the body lays fatty deposits around the spine to help support this unnatural head position. Not only is the hump physically unappealing, but it can also cause nagging back, neck and shoulder pain. Yes, it’s quite literally a pain in the neck!
How to get rid of a neck hump, and improve your posture.
Do hump-busting exercises
There are specific exercises that strengthen your back, neck and chest muscles to facilitate good posture. With good posture, your head will remain in natural alignment, rather than pushing forward. This is a useful video on how to get rid of a neck hump through targeted exercises.
Have a mirror in your work space
It’s easy to forget to sit or stand properly, but with a mirror nearby you can correct your posture the minute you slouch. You could say, there’s a constant opportunity to ‘reflect’. (Sorry!)
Set a timer and move around
Moving around is a great way to loosen all your muscles and ensure you don’t melt into the bad position for hours.
Have a torch in your chest and be a puppet on a string
To improve posture, I once heard an expert talk about pretending to have a torch in the middle of your chest. To keep shining the light straight ahead you should stand straight, because if you stand too far forward the light shines downward, if you stand too far back, the light shines upward.
She also explained about being a puppet on a string. To stand straighter, imagine there’s a string going from the top of your head, holding you up. By imagining this, you become straighter and taller.
However, good posture isn’t about being ridiculously straight with your chin up, arms pulled back, and chest out, because that’s an unnatural position. Good posture, apparently, is about keeping the natural curves of your back in balance, and training your body to function in positions where the least strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments. This applies when standing, sitting and sleeping.
At a previous visit to my physio I told him about my right-angle woes. He suggested rolling up a towel and putting it at the base of my office chair, because that would force me not to slouch. He was right, it worked quite well. I still managed to slouch though because I’m exceedingly talented. Also, because I alternate between sitting and standing at my desk, I constantly find new, exciting ways to truly function horribly.
Posture improvement device
There are many posture improvement devices on the market, but they come with widely mixed reviews, so make sure to do your research.
I had a hunch I should write this…
Although this isn’t my usual type of article, I thought some of you might be in the same boat as I am. If so, hopefully these tips have helped, and at least, that I’ve looked at the issue from the right angle!