Poor posture is the scourge of
our times. We spend more
hours slouched in front of a
computer screen than any previous
generation. Not surprisingly,
neck and shoulder problems
have become increasingly common.
A study conducted among 101
employees of a multinational company
by the Industrial Design Centre at the
Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai,
found that 23 per cent of the group suffered
from neck pain and 10 per cent
from shoulder pain.
Heena Garude, chief physiotherapist
at Lilavati Hospital, says that poor
posture is the root cause of all our
neck and shoulder ills. "When
people are in a desk job, their
position is no longer erect," she says.
"The muscles supporting the neck get
tired. The neck and shoulder slowly
protrude." This 'protruded neck
posture' can lead to stiffness.
Since there is no quick fix solution,
you have be mindful of how
you sit at all times. You can
achieve this by replacing your
chair with a stability ball. "It
forces you to sit upright and
focus on your centre of gravity
so that you don't fall,"
says Madhuri Ruia, proprietor
of Integym, a
fitness studio in
makes you totally aware
of the position of your spine." Follow this nine-step routine designed by physiotherapist Heath Matthews. These exercises use the natural weight of your head to strengthen neck muscles, ease stiffness, and restore normal movement.
Supine neck flexion/extension: With your back resting on the ball, lift head up from neck, then lower.
Supine neck side flexion: Lying with your back flat on the ball, bend head left from neck,
Supine neck rotation:
Rotate head left from neck, then
With your side resting on the
ball and one hand on
the ground to
support you, bend
head left from
Side rotation: In the
same position, rotate
head left from
Side flexion: With your side resting
on the ball, bend head forward from the
neck, then backward.
Prone side flexion:
resting on the
ball, bend head
left from neck,
With your stomach resting on the ball,
and legs stretched out
behind, bend head
back from neck,
Prone side rotation: Rotate
head left from neck, then right.
Don't force the neck to move past the comfortable range. There should be space around you as the ball may roll.
If you find it too difficult to use a stability ball at first, try using your bed or flat bench. Keep your eyes open while doing these exercises as your
vision will be an important part
of maintaining your balance.
What size for me?
Hips and knees should be
bent at 90Â° while sitting
on a stability ball.
If knee to ground
height is 45 cm
then add 3 cm
So the 55
Not just posturing
Your PC and keypad should be
in the same vertical line.
Your keyboard should be
located close to your body.
The keyboard should be level
with your arms when bent at
The top of the monitor should
be level with your eyes.
Take a walk after 30 minutes
of computer use.
Don't cradle the phone
between your neck and