SITTING AT YOUR COMPUTER

Sitting at Your Computer Keeping Your Psoas Muscle Released Stable Work Station (Correct) Here are several tips to help you free your psoas:

Sit on a flat chair. Most chairs are not designed for sitting rather they are designed for appearance and for stacking. Ergonomically designed chairs are often just band-aid efforts to release tension that is already created from poor positioning. Many of the ergonomically designed chairs do not solve the problem where it originates. When selecting a chair, notice the seat. Avoid bucket seats that form a hollow, as this does not offer your pelvis a firm solid placement. The pelvis is the keystone and the foundation for the rest of the skeletal system i.e. ribs cage, spine, head plus legs and feet. A stable pelvis supports the bones and frees the psoas muscles from unnecessary tension. The ischial tuberosities commonly known as your sits bones located at the base of your pelvis helps position the pelvis and torso. A chair needs to have a solid base of support for the tuberosites to balance and rest upon. Choose a chair with a firm flat seat. If your chair has a hollow or bucket type of seat modify the chair using a firm solid pillow or folded blanket placed in the hollow.

Sit with your weight in front of sits bones. Many people sit behind the pelvic sits bones (ischial tuberosites) curling the pelvis under thus rounding the lower back and causing the neck and head to forward thrust. If you do not sense your sits bones than find them with your fingers. Lift up your buttocks and pull your glut (butt) muscles away behind you, then sit down slightly in front of the round bones (you can feel that are under your buttocks). Sitting with your weight in front of the ischial tuberosites helps to give your pelvis stability thus supporting the arm, wrists and fingers perform motion necessary for typing. Isolated contracted arm movements make typing effortful. Gaining support through your pelvic core lets the support extend up through your core and out through your fingertips.

Sit with your hip sockets higher than your knees. Your hip sockets need be higher than your knees for your psoas muscle and hip sockets to stay released rather than compressed. A stable pelvis frees the psoas muscle and keeps the hip sockets released. Compressed hip sockets cut off blood circulation to the legs and feet and can cause or aggravate sciatic nerve pain and muscular cramping. Choose a chair height that lets your hip sockets (located on each side of your pubis bone) to be slightly higher than your knee. A slanted hard foam cushion may help open the hip socket. A stool can also be used. The height of the stool or chair must let your pelvis be stable and supported with spine and head balanced on top.

4.Keep your feet on the floor. Although changing leg positions can be very helpful in reducing the fatigue that comes with stillness its helpful to have your feet placed firmly on the ground. Doing so provides an energetic grounding as well as aiding structural stability. The nerves of the feet help stabilize and co-ordinate posture. Energetically the psoas muscle is the grounding wire of the human electrical system. This energy is translated from the psoas through the legs and needs to be received into the ground. Staying grounded not only helps reduce fatigue it helps channel the electromagnetic forces coming from the computer. People often ask about the benefits of kneeling stools for sitting at desks. Kneeling stools do not allow the feet to be grounded (as the feet are not touching the floor). It is through the nerves in the bottom of the foot that we receive somatic and energetic information and support. Kneeling chairs increase stress in the knees, where tension may already be manifesting.

5.Keep your jaw loose. The jaw and pelvis relate to each other. When one is tight or locked in tension the other will also express tension. Sensing the pelvic floor will release tension in the jaw and visa versa. Once you have a good chair begin to modify the height of the table so that you do not lean over or reach up to type. Be sure your workstation allows your arms to hang loosely from the shoulder girdle when typing on the keyboard. In other words you do not want to use unnecessary tension to lift the arms or lean over to type. The wrist and fingers are in a neutral position.

Next, position the monitor to be high enough that your eyes look directly at the screen while working. Be sure the monitor is high enough so your eyes look directly ahead rather than down. Lifting the monitor to a height that supports the head/neck righting reflexes is essential for maintaining stability. The proper height encourages your body to follow your eyes and head looking straight ahead when typing rather than collapsing downwards.

While typing shift your weight forward and back (a small rocking motion) through the hip sockets (rather than bending at the waist or collapsing the head and shoulders). Letting the whole torso move together reduces shoulder, neck and back fatigue. Keep your typing material in front of you. Doing so helps you avoid locking your head down while typing. Material provided by Phil Gorman,B.A.,RMT