Stop! I want you to freeze in whatever position you're in right now! Where is your head? Is it sitting squared between your shoulders or is it jutted forward as you look at the screen? Or maybe it's tilted or turned to one side more than the other?
It's hard to maintain good posture while you're seated and over time, this can lead to problems and pain in your neck and the rest of your spine.
Health Impacts Of Poor Neck Posture
Did you know that the further forward your head is, the more weight it puts on your neck and spine?
Rene Cailliet M.D., medical author and a former director at the University of Southern California has stated that, “Head in [a] forward posture can add up to thirty pounds of abnormal leverage on the cervical spine. This can pull the entire spine out of alignment.”
This means that just by having your head sitting a little far forward on your neck can increase the amount of tension and stress you experience.
Dr. Cailliet goes on to say that forward head posture (FHP) can block the action of certain muscles that help with the mechanism of taking a deep breath. In other words, FHP can reduce lung capacity, sometimes by 30%!
A Simple Way To Check Your Posture
Forward head posture can also cause neck pain and headaches!
What if you're not sure if you have FHP? To know where your head should actually be, stand with your back up against a wall. Touch the whole back of your head (not just the upper portion) to the wall. This is where your head should sit. It might feel a little weird, but it shouldn't be painful.
How To Reverse Forward Head Posture
The simplest way is to gently bring your head back when you notice it's forward– your ear should line up with your shoulder. If you find that this causes pain or is difficult to do, or if you're getting headaches/neck pain, your muscle and nerve tension are too much to fix on your own. You need the help of a chiropractor to help you have proper head posture and rid yourself of neck and headache pain.
This simple change might be enough to help you feel less tense at the end of the day and, more importantly, can decrease the wear and tear on your neck.