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Keep Your Head Balanced for More Ease While Working

Last time we discussed your sit bones. Now let’s look at your head’s role in computer posture—or your posture at any time!

Heads Up!

With your upper body balanced over the sit bones, let’s look at your head. Take a moment to be aware of your head. Where is it? Is it balanced over the top of your spine, or is it leaning forward to see the screen? The second option is all too common. The head is at the opposite end of the spine from the sit bones. It counterbalances the sit bones. If either end is out of balance, then the whole upper body is compromised.

We often think of our head joining our spine at our neck level. The spine actually ends higher than we think. Imagine if you could put a rod through your head from one ear to the other. Imagine that this rod is the pivot point for your head. Try nodding your head, imagining the rod is doing the nodding. This is the point where your head meets the spine.

If your head is properly balanced on top of the spine, the vertebrae become like a solid stack of rocks holding it up. If, instead, we allow our head to fall forward, it adds much more tension to all of the upper back and neck muscles. They have to do a job they were not designed to do. Your head is like a 10-12 lb. bowling ball just sitting on the top joint of your spine. For every inch we allow our head to fall forward of this balance point, it adds approximately 10 additional lbs. of weight for our upper back and neck muscles to hold up due to the pull of gravity. So allowing your head to fall just 3” forward will add about 40 lbs. of weight for your muscles to have to support!

It’s a Balancing Act

In order to keep your head upright, be sure that your head is balanced on your spine and not forward of it. If it is balanced properly, your ears should be directly over your shoulders. Remember your mom or teachers telling you to “sit up straight.” They were right, but sometimes we create more tension in the process. Instead of pushing yourself upward, think of the crown of your head moving closer to the ceiling. Don’t tense your muscles in an attempt to do this, just imagine your head moving closer to the ceiling and let your body do the work without you interfering in the process.

Did you try this? How did it work? Let us know in the comments below.

Also in this series:

What is the Use of Technology Doing to Your Body?

Ready, Set, Type!

How Are You Sitting While Using Your Computer?

*The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and does not substitute for a thorough evaluation by a medical professional.  Please consult your chiropractor or physician to determine whether these self-care tips are appropriate for you.
 Photo: http://erikdalton.com/images/ForwardHdEv.jpg

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