Training should make your life easier not harder.
Updated: Aug 23, 2022
If you can't hold your phone in your hands properly directly after a hard workout, that's fine. But if you can't hold your phone in front of your face during the rest of the day, that's a problem.
As I like to tell my patients, physical training is supposed to help you outside the gym, outside the court and outside the track. If the things you work on at the gym like back strength, posture, leg endurance and agility do not translate into greater posture at work, longer walking distances and greater strength in real life situations, you should need to overthink your training program. We see it so many times in people's training programs that the exercises do not improve the real life habits nor would these provide greater ease at the job or tasks at home. Although we're proud to see you doing a great job at deadlifting and squatting at the gym, we're simultaneously disappointed when we see you putting back down the weights afterwards – rounded shoulders, caved in knees and no concern for posture and alignment whatsoever.
Don't feel bad if it happens to you to, that despite all the yoga classes, mobility routines and strength and posture training you fall back to your postural deficits. Once you noticed it, you're already on the winning team. In the next step, you should try to adjust the training components and exercises so that it benefits your shoulder setting, your neck alignment and leg positioning the best. This is the hardest part, because it requires you to get out of your comfort zone all together. You may need to skip a few exercises and instead do some sled pushing/pulling, do some ground-based training like mountain climbers, sit outs, lunges, get ups and bear crawls in order to restore the compromised posture you've been dealing with.
Lastly, you would need to adjust things that you need on a daily basis so that it makes it easier for you to maintain a better posture during the day. Meaning, you would want to change your sitting position or raise the desk to a height that you could easily stand on; you would want to adjust the height of your kitchen counter (at least this part where you do meal prep on) so that you don't need to hunch over all the time. You may even want to replace your comfortable couch and sit on a stool as it prevents you from slouching and risking back pain again. Maybe you can just sit regularly in a crossed legged position on the floor in front of the TV, therefore you can work on posture and hip mobility while you're enjoying a movie.
Please be reminded that just because you're having a computer job doesn't mean you have to suffer from too much sitting and bad postures all the time!!!
If you need help improving your work space, we provide a service called Movewell® Home Office. This is a trimmed version of our health insurance covered seminar series Fit@Work and helps you work more effectively and healthy at your desk at home or your office. We specialized in work ergonomics and biomechanics.
Don't forget to Movewell. 😊
Your personal physiotherapist – Martin Strietzel