Perfecting your posture
Re: “The health hazards of sitting” [Jan. 21], the drawing of someone slumped in a chair, succumbing to gravity and bad habits of (non) posture is . . . galling! That’s how I responded, anyway. And, oh, the many troubles that ensue, health- and productivity-wise, which are well documented and which I see all the time in my practice as a movement education specialist.
To avoid following that downward spiral, desk workers and home computer users can choose from a variety of seating options. Studies are underway at Harvard, the University of Waterloo and other research institutions to measure the benefits of a third way to work upright for prolonged periods: a dynamic perching position halfway between sitting and standing where the hips are at a 135-degree angle. Your legs are engaged, keeping you in an active, upright posture.
Underlying any sustained posture is a constellation of balancing forces around one’s center of gravity. However, good posture relies on an active relationship with both the pull of gravitational forces and the suspension of anti-gravitational forces. This is a skill that can be learned and facilitated when you have the right office configuration.
Movement is a key for workplace wellness. Taking macro-movement breaks like walking and stretching is a known quantity. Conditioning yourself to employ smart postural micro-movements, and investing in the proper tools you need to support a healthy posture can bring health and vitality back into your workday. Otherwise, that downward spiral might get you.
Ellen Barlow, Washington