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How your online business is ruining your posture

You’ve worked hard at creating and nurturing your online business. You’ve put in hours of effort and poured in your heart and soul. Building an online business can be exhilarating, exciting and crazy.

 

But sometimes, at the end of hours working on your laptop, your neck is sore, your lower back aches and your shoulders are heading for your ears.

Surely being a female entrepreneur wasn’t supposed to make you look like the hunched Wicked Witch of the West.

So what’s gone wrong?

Clearly sitting for too long and slumping are going to cause problems. But today, I’m going to focus on two of the most important underlying causes of why your posture has become less than perfecto.

You’re not paying attention to what you’re doing to yourself

A few years ago I was stood at the kitchen sink, mentally miles away when my daughter, a toddler at the time, bit me on the thigh. She wasn’t a serial biter (this only happened once and I’d hate you to think it’s an established communication technique in our family). But wanting my full, non-multitasking attention rather than the distracted variety, this seemed to her at the time, the best option.

Your body’s like this. It’s important to remember your dear, miraculous body has the communication skills of a toddler rather than the skilled repertoire of a United Nations negotiator.

The messages it sends you will always be clear and direct but sometimes you have to be listening carefully to hear them. Trust me, ignore them and they will get louder.

It works something like this.

So you’re sitting working on your laptop and you feel a little discomfort in your lower back. You’re not sat very well but hey, you’ve only got to get this email quickly written so you ignore it.

A few hours go by (doesn’t time fly when you’re absorbed in business stuff?). You’ve finished the email, written a splendid blog post and done a bit of tinkering with your website and suddenly realise that the discomfort has become an unpleasant, tightening feeling.

Later that day, bending down to pick something off the floor using the waist joint (hint:  it doesn’t exist but we pretend it does), you feel a sharp pain in your back.

“Where the flip did that come from? I only bent down to pick a piece of paper off the floor.” you groan.

Your body presumably by now, as my father used to say, sick to the back teeth, has got fed up with subtle hints and is now resorting to sending you the posture equivalent of hitting you over the head with a big stick.

The lesson is to start paying attention. Become aware of the small messages and your body won’t need to turn nasty.

You’re failing to notice when your body is tense.

Want to know the quickest way to make your posture really awful?

Clench all your muscles as tightly as you can and notice your body’s response. Maybe you pull your shoulders forward, lift them up round your ears, curl forwards, or perhaps hunch your upper back. For extra credits you can hold your breath as this always ups the tension level.

None of this is going to look pretty.

That’s the experiment part over so breathe and release all that tension.

However, tension might not even show in the dramatic way you’ve just demonstrated. You can sit perfectly, feet flat on the floor, legs hip width apart, back straight, laptop in right place, wrists straight and still feel tense. If you are trying to hold onto to a position, clamping your muscles, creating stiffness then your body is still not going to be happy.

I want you to understand that tension is the root of all posture evil. When you are truly poised, your body will feel totally at ease.

A feeling of tension is the first message that your body will send you that your posture is less than fab. Ignore it and this is where it all starts to go so horribly wrong.

Returning to my first point, the sad truth is that we can be holding onto tension when we’re using our laptop, phone and not even be aware of it. And what I mean by tension can be many things. It might be a feeling of tightening, contraction, or it may be a pulling or just a feeling that you really need to move.

We need to become much more aware of these warning signals and we’ll build our business without ruining our posture.

Here’s to business success without aches and pains.

Photo credit: Stutterstock.com/ billionphotos.com