We often find ourselves searching for tools and furniture to make our lives more ergonomic.
We believe the answer to our aches and pains is a more efficient workstation
-and heck yes!
It’s definitely going to help, BUT the truth of the matter is that it’s only going to partially help. Most often the missing piece of the puzzle is how we actually use our bodies- you could have the most ergonomic workspace in all the land, but if you’re not using your body correctly it’s not going to be of much value to you.
I’m sorry if this is a tough pill to swallow…. But to quote the King of Posture himself, Frederick Matthias Alexander (the creator of the posture practice the Alexander Technique)
“When you stop the wrong- the right will do itself.”
Don’t worry- we get it. Changing your posture is easier said than done. It can be hard to understand something as natural and fundamental as sitting.
We sit and stand and walk and talk as a natural function- we do it all without analyzing the process or feeling self-conscious about it, but when we stop to consider the processes in more detail we become usefully conscious of the fact that sitting and our posture, in general, are actually powering much of our overall well being.
We go about our daily lives over and over again- we sit in chairs, we walk up sets of stairs, we run on treadmills, always the same way.
The answer is simple.
It feels right.
We all develop habits and as humans, the force of habit has become so strongly rooted within us as a way of functioning and coping in the everyday world. We often find ourselves running on automatic and quickly create habits that stay with us for years. Over time these habits may not serve us as well as they once did when we first developed them, or they may have been bad habits from the beginning. With every passing day, these habits become more deeply ingrained in us making them incredibly difficult to get rid of.
It’s in our nature to be comforted by the familiar and what ‘feels right’. As long as we are relying on what ‘feels right’ we are going to continue to make these same mistakes - in order to make a change we must be prepared to ‘feel wrong’.
Part of the problem of reinforcing habits comes from our relationship to our kinesthetic sense. The kinesthetic sense is sometimes called "muscle memory," and is the awareness of our own movement, for example when we walk, eat, write, or brush our teeth.
Due to our kinesthetic sense, we begin to believe that the aches and pains we experience from our daily lives are just how it is for us. We are quick to assume that the way we walk, sit, drive is just “how we do it” without ever taking the opportunity to check in and see what changes we could make.
Pairing an ergonomic workspace with a consciousness of our own human ergonomics is the key to being usefully conscious.
Time for us to spit some head, neck, back facts.
If the muscles of your neck are free enough that your head can balance on the top of your spine and not be held in place, if your back can be long and wide and not compressed, then your postural balance will be optimal and your entire system will be disposed to function more efficiently and with less effort.
We’re talking a reduction in aches and pains, good posture, increased energy, improved confidence and self-control, enhanced athletic performance, clarity in thinking and greater self-awareness.
Sounds good right?
So how do we achieve this?
Well, the first step is, of course, optimizing our workspaces to be more ergonomically friendly-- might we suggest a Sleekform kneeling chair as a starting point?
The second thing we can do is to become conscious of what our bodies need- we recommend first doing a big head to toe evaluation of where were are holding our tension followed by a series of exercises intended to help us center and do a self-evaluation.
Click here for our tension checklist
Click here to read more exercises we love.Click here to shop on Amazon.