Just like each human is an individual who differs from the next, so do our spines. Your spine is your biggest supporter, and for this reason, it is important to understand your spine and how it works.
Here is everything you need to know about your spine and how you can determine the best working position for your spine.
The parts of your spine
You probably already know that your spine is made up of a series of vertebrae. These vertebrae are connected by ligaments and discs. Your spine includes your cervical spine, discs, your thoracic spine, lumbar spine, sacrum, and your coccyx. Most spines have 33 vertebrae that are labelled from C1 to C7, then from T1 to T12, followed by L1 to L5. After these labels are your sacrum and then your coccyx.
The cervical spine
Let’s start from the top. Your cervical spine is the part of your spine that is in your neck. It is pretty amazing that the seven vertebrae in your cervical spine hold up and support your entire head. C2 allows you to turn your head from side to side as well as tilt it.
The thoracic spine
The next part of your spine is the thoracic spine, this is your chest area. There are twelve vertebrae in this part of the spine.
The lumbar spine
The thoracic spine is followed by your lumbar spine which consists of five of your largest, thickest vertebrae you have. These vertebrae support the entire weight of your spine – by no means an easy job. This is also the reason why you encounter problems when you experience lower back pain.
Next up is the sacrum which falls right under the lumbar vertebrae. This is a triangular bone that connects to your hips.
And last, but not least, is your coccyx. If you’ve ever landed on your tailbone, we’re quite sure you know where your coccyx is! This part of your spine is made up of four vertebrae that are fused together and are responsible for bearing the weight of your body while you sit.
Between your vertebrae, there are little pads called discs (we’re sure you’ve heard of the extremely painful slipped disc scenario). The discs in your spine work like cushions between the bones and help to absorb shock so that your vertebrae don’t bump into each other when you run, jump, bend or work. It’s fair to say that your discs work quite hard for you!
The importance of good posture
One of the most common causes of back pain is bad posture. In our modern world, we spend up to nine hours a day in a seated position while working. The impact that these long periods of sitting have on our spine is massive.
Finding the right posture while working
The best way to adjust your posture while in the seated position while working is to engage your core by pulling your navel towards your spine. Then, straighten your spine and relax your shoulders back.
Something that also affects your posture is the position of your monitor and keyboard while you are working. Your monitor should be an arm’s length away from your seated position and your eyes should be about two to three inches below the top of the monitor. Your keyboard should be positioned at the same height or just below the height of your elbows.
Two important contributors to maintaining the correct posture while working in a seated position are your desk and chair. The Edge Desk is specifically designed to put your back and spine into a neutral position which encourages correct posture and ensures that you are always maintaining the best posture while you are working. This relieves back pain and boosts productivity. The desk adjusts your posture so that your feet are slightly in front of your buttocks. It also ensures that your hips are above your knees and that your shins are in contact with the lower pad of the chair.
Exercises to improve your posture
Sitting in the right position is not the only way you can address bad posture. Some things you can also do to improve your posture are a few simple and effective exercises.
- The plank: Planking is a great way to work on your posture if you do it correctly. Be sure to keep your legs straight while planking and ensure that your lower back doesn’t sink down. A helpful tip is to look down at the floor.
- The reverse plank bridge: This exercise activates and stretches key muscles that are responsible for your posture like your pectoral muscles and those in your neck too.
- Wall angels: Simply lean back against a wall and lift your arms up and down as if you were making a snow angel. Make sure your rear is always touching the wall and that your back is flat against the wall.
It is never too late to fix a bad spine. By following the exercises above and sitting in the optimal position with the help of The Edge Desk, you can improve the health of your spine.