I’m currently a Performing Arts student at a college in England. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do, but I took a slightly roundabout route getting here. After finishing secondary school in New Zealand, I went on to University for four years. As all students will know, this came with plenty of quality time spent hunched over a desk stressing out about grades. Cue the beginning of endless postural problems.
Whether I was hurriedly taking notes in lectures, writing essays, studying for exams, or sitting the exams themselves, I was almost constantly hunkered down typing on my laptop. I’d be so stressed trying to get every word out within the allotted time during exams, my arm muscles would sometimes cramp up too, to complement my already rock solid traps. Tight trapezius muscles are something I’ve struggled with ever since I started using laptops. Why is it that desk heights never seem to match normal human elbow levels?
Fixing posture problems
I travelled in Europe for a year, during which time I auditioned for, and was accepted into this performing arts college. Part of the induction process was visiting a physiotherapist who assessed our muscular strength and posture, looking out for imbalances that could lead to injury when we started full time training which meant dancing all day. I saw two, and the first told me I had scoliosis! I found this crazy, as no other physiotherapist had ever noticed this about me before. The second physio told me that in fact, I didn’t have scoliosis, but the way I had always sat at a desk had affected the way my spine rested when I was standing upright. It could be fixed by increasing awareness of my bad posture at all times, and self correcting.
Sitting at my desk was when I'd most forget about posture, until I felt my sore neck return and realise that I couldn't even blame that on the increased exercise I was doing at college. If I'd been working on my laptop the night before, my body felt much stiffer the next day.
Prioritise your health
That’s the thing. Posture is often something of which we’re unconscious until the aches and pains become so persistent that they’re unbearable. It seems unbelievable that such problems arise from sitting or standing still, but can stay until we’re forced to break the habit. But how do you break the habit if you’re still doing the same things? It is important to take steps to prioritise your posture and health, and reap the benefits by feeling better! If like me, you find it hard to correct your posture because you keep going back to slouching over your keyboard, maybe you should focus more on ergonomics and ensure that your work space works for, and not against, you. Why not check out the Silesian cases? They unfold into a great work station for your mobile device, that can be adjusted to an ideal level for good posture and maximum comfort.