Anyone who spends the majority of their day sitting at a desk, is at risk for poor posture, since sitting down is the most challenging position for the shoulders, neck, and back. A US study found that children and adults spend at least 55% of their waking hours or 7.7 hours a day in sedentary behaviors and children between the ages of 5 and 16 are likely to spend about 15,000 hours sitting down. Screen time (i.e. phone and computer usage, watching television, playing video games) has increased dramatically over then the past 20 years. In Western cultures where technology is so pervasive, children and adults alike, do not play outside or exercise as much as they should.
The dangers of sedentary lifestyle are already evident in the growing epidemic of iPosture (posture that is hunched over). Back pain is often the result of this rounded back, caused by excessive sitting. Most people only pay attention to their bodies once they start to experience pain. Whether this pain is the result of excessive sitting, a prior injury, exercising in ways that strain the body, or using the body unknowingly in ways that cause harm, once the pain becomes chronic, people start to panic and will try anything. This often leads up to 'trying everything' and 'nothing worked' and eventually undergoing surgery. Because the Alexander Technique is not a quick fix, it actually teaches the student life-long skills for self-improvement. By stopping the repetition of harmful habits, the body can relearn how to use itself freely and without pain and avoid intrusive and irreversible procedures.
Professions that are physically demanding are at risk for poor posture. In addition to those who sit at a desk all day, dentists, surgeons, and nurses in particular, spend a great deal of time hunched over while working with their patients, sometimes with the added tension in their bodies associated with ensuring patient care and safety. Professions that require heavy lifting or working in uncomfortable positions (mechanics, plumbers, electricians, factory workers) are susceptible to excessive back pain and a negative impact on their posture as well. Furthermore, athletes, dancers, musicians, singers and actors are often prone to pain and discomfort due to the exacting nature of performance and the added pressures and overexertion that come with the job.
For all of us, the everyday stresses of life take a toll on our bodies, and additional stimuli only add undue stress to the musculoskeletal system. The Alexander Technique can help prevent further damage caused by sedentary lifestyle and other habits that strain the body. The Alexander Technique is a clinically proven method that reduces back pain, improves posture and promotes better health. Contact Body and Posture for more information.