By Patrick Sheridan, Physiotherapist.
Do you play video games or binge on Netflix? Ever stand up after a 5 season marathon and feel like you’ve turned into the Hunchback of Notre Dame?
So have I.
Yes that Netflix show you’ve just got into can be addictive, and there’s always time for just one more round of Fortnite, but surprisingly even for a healthy and active 27 year old a weekend on the couch can be terrible for my back! Just think about the positions you end up in.
I caught myself after a solid hour (ok… it was three) of sitting on the side of my bed with one leg on the floor, one leg tucked under me, leaning on one elbow and my neck held up at about a 45 degree angle. If you asked me to hold that position for so long normally I would tell you that I couldn’t. However with such immersive distractions it happens without me even noticing!
Staying in this sort of position can wreak havoc on your joints, tendons, muscles and over long periods of time can cause long painful injuries that are difficult to fix. So here are some tips for keeping your body from seizing up whilst enjoying your favourite guilty pleasure!
- Set yourself up properly first time, pillow behind your low back, head against the headrest, feet in front of you and not curled up.
- Use those breaks! Netflix gives you 20 seconds between episodes so get up and move around, even if it is just to run to the toilet and grab a quick snack, it’s better than staying in one position the whole time.
- Don’t lie down in bed watching a movie on your laptop, at least sit up with a pillow behind you so your neck isn’t at a 90 degree angle
- If you do find yourself in awkward positions try not to stay there too long!
- For those video gamers get a proper chair to sit in and shuffle all the way to the back of the seat and place a cushion under your hands to avoid leaning right forwards with your face inches from the screen.
Remember while these tips will help to minimise the damage done of a prolonged sedentary lifestyle, the best cure is to avoid being stationary for any lengthy time and to live an active lifestyle! If you need some help or professional advice come and visit one of the friendly staff at Bellarine Sports Medicine Centre to keep you active, healthy and happy!
If you think this sounds like you and you want a tech posture check, call the centre for an assessment or email Pat on firstname.lastname@example.org