Posture perfect: How to text and work at a desk without destroying your body
November 2, 2014 7:30 AM
Electronics are slowly turning humanity into a humpback species. Poor posture is a major contributor to back pain and can even negatively affect our emotions. Fortunately, there’s a an easy way to remedy the situation. At VentureBeat’s Healthbeat conference this week, Crossfit San Francisco Founder and author of the bestselling book, Ready To Run, Kelly Starrett coached the audience on how to text and type properly (video below)
Even though it looks a bit weird, Starrett says that phones should be held up front of your face, rather near the chest, which forces us to crane our necks downward.As can be seen from the video, Starrett’s gives a few simple tips. To get into a proper posture, extend your arms out to your sides and rotate your palms upward. This naturally pulls the shoulders back and gets the spine into a healthy neutral position. From there, the elbows can be bent inward to to hold a smartphone or type at a keyboard.
I try to use this advice daily. It’s awkward at first, but I find that the benefits of good posture outweigh the occasional stares from strangers on the street from holding the phone in a non-traditional fashion.
As for sitting, to help maintain a good position, Starrett recommends squeezing the butt and abs about 20 percent of full strength. Sitting is not a passive activity. If we want to maintain a healthy posture, it’s best to think of working at a desk as a marathon that requires constant mindfulness.
The body wasn’t meant to sit all day long and stare at tiny screens. To offset this unnatural activity, a bit of effort is required to keep us healthy and happy.