Leaning towards the laptop/computer
Sitting in a ‘forward-leaning-position’ for a short period of time (like when you’re eating dinner or something) isn’t terrible for you, but spending hours at a time on the computer this way can lead to problems. Sitting in this position frequently can lead to lower back pain as well as discomfort in the neck or upper part of our shoulders.
To remedy this, try keeping your shoulders relaxed and have your back resting firmly on the back of your chair. Ideally, a 90-100 degree angle at your hips and knees will also help out tremendously. Lastly, try having your screen as close to your horizontal sight as you can to relieve your neck from having to stare at an angle for long periods of time.
Picking things up with a bowed back
Some years ago a defenseman on my hockey team injured his back and was out for a month during the midst of a playoff hunt. The culprit? He was picking up a cracker that his kid had dropped. When picking anything up- ESPECIALLY something relatively heavy- it’s important that you don’t bow your back to do so. The best way to avoid injury when picking something up is to bend at the knees, keep your back straight, your core tight, and using the muscles from your hips and knees to lift.
I’ve never found this position comfortable to sleep in, but many people do, and unfortunately, it isn’t ideal for the body. Why? Sleeping face-down forces both the neck and the jaw to be in an unnatural position for hours at a time, leading to muscle pain and even damage. A good way to remedy this is to stay in the face-down position until you feel that you are just about to fall asleep, and then to turn over onto your side. If you are someone who naturally moves back to the face-down position in your sleep, try having a pillow on your side.
One-strapping your backpack
While it may look cooler to some to one-strap it, the fact of the matter is that the resulting balancing act done by the other shoulder can lead to contractures and neck pain. If you’re someone who often carries a purse or gym back that only has one strap, try being mindful of what you have to carry in the bag to make it as light as you can. Shifting the load from shoulder to shoulder will also help out.
Looking down at your phone for too long
It’s no secret that the majority of us have smartphones and that we frequently look down at them… even when walking around in public. Forget the fact that you could run into people or objects due to distraction, your neck is really getting it here. While there really isn’t an ideally better way to look at your phone short holding it right in front of your face (which no one ever does) there are a few little things that can help.
Strengthen your lower back and core with some exercise. This will help you with posture and balance. Also, maintaining a healthy weight will help you avoid back problems.
Driving with your arm out of the window
While it may feel comfortable and familiar to rest your arm out of the window of your car, the truth is that this is an unnatural position for your arm to be in for long periods of time. This could lead to developing tendonitis. Try and keep your arms inside of the car and in a position that doesn’t leave your joints feeling any sort of stress. Also, if you exercise, try and engage in some low-impact workouts to give your joints a break.
Sitting on your wallet
This is becoming a less and less common practice nowadays, but there are still people out there who manage to sit on their wallets for whatever reason. The ipsilateral sciatic nerve, which connects your legs to your spine, can take some damage when you sit this way. Sitting with anything in your back pockets that can throw your spine out of whack is a bad idea, so simply remove them from your pockets and put them on the table or something.
Crossing your legs for extended periods of time
This one kind of stinks, because it’s pretty damn comfortable and it’s something a lot of us do without even realizing it. Among other things, prolonged leg crossing can lead to spider veins or varicose veins and blood clots. The solution is easy: Keep your feet parallel as often as you can, and always have them supported somehow.