How Posture At Work Affects Your Running Abilities
Each year, our clinic treats tons of runners gearing up for the New York City marathon and half-marathon. Some are long-time competitors, while others are newer to the sport. In both cases we often see the same problems causing pain and inhibiting performance.
One of the top reasons runners suffer during training? Poor posture in the workplace.
Believe it or not, the bad habits you form sitting over a desk all day can have a massive effect on your ability to run at a high level. Even among more casual runners, we see the same patterns over and over again— tightness, stiffness and pain all stemming from the way they hold themselves every day at work.
Bad posture at work leads to misalignment and imbalance
Unfortunately, it is all too common for people to let bad working habits lead to larger health problems. The average New York office worker spends about five hours or more every day working on a computer, which presents huge problems if not performed correctly. When you sit hunched over with shoulders forward, neck down, and arms and wrists contontorted to reach a keyboard, you create problems that will linger long after you leave the office.
Runners rely on their legs (obviously), but also on their core and upper body for balance and momentum. The whole body must be in alignment in order to efficiently absorb impact and generate power for running. If posture is poor day in and day out, the result will be the weakening and tightening of certain muscle groups needed to keep balance the body while running.
Upper Cross Syndrome
Upper cross syndrome is a condition we see in which poor posture leads to a number of negative changes in the musculoskeletal system of the upper body. When the head hunches forward on the neck for hours on end, like when you sit in front of a computer, muscles in your shoulders and chest become tight, while muscles in your neck and lower back become weak.
There are several negative outcomes from this, but one of the most important for runners is that restriction in the chest and back can make deep breathing more difficult. Significant tightening of these areas can reduce your ability to take deep breaths efficiently, and eventually inhibit your performance while running.
Treating upper cross syndrome requires careful diagnosis, in office treatment and long-term strengthening and posture adjustment to make sure patients become aware of how their actions in the workplace can affect their overall health.
From marathon runners down to casual weekend joggers, upper cross syndrome can cripple your ability to enjoy running. Many runners may wonder why they are short on breath without ever considering that posture has the ability to affect respiratory function.
What we can do
At Madison Square Wellness, one of our biggest goals is to help overworked New Yorkers reclaim their health and wellness with small adjustments to lifestyle. For patients who may suffer from poor posture habits, we treat acute pain that arises as a result— more importantly we can help develop a plan to diagnose and correct the habits that led to posture problems in the first place.
Our team of chiropractors, acupuncturists and physical therapists use a variety of techniques to analyze and correct posture. We use cutting-edge technology to assess posture as well the ergonomic conditions in your workplace.
If you are interested in learning more about what MSQW can do to help you reclaim your wellness, visit our website here, and get in touch today.