How to Sit at a Computer

So many of my clients, whether they are actors, speakers, doctors, or editors, have to sit at a computer for their business. Almost everyone has a website or a social media presence which requires them to sit at a computer. Kids now have to do their homework on iPads or computers. One reason I chose Alexander Technique as a career was because I did not want a job where I had to sit at a computer. Even I have to spend time at a computer writing blog posts, sending emails to clients, and doing accounting.

Sitting at a computer, especially for long periods of time, leads to poor habits of posture taking over. These painful and compressive habits impact your experience of confidence, vitality, and body language.

Some of the worst postural habits I observe are:

Head pushing forward towards the computer screen
Ribs collapse forward compressing the lungs and diaphragm
Hips tuck under which shortens the spine
Breathing becomes shallow and breath rate has to quicken
A participant in one of my workshops, shared this video with me from YouTube. I like it because it uses clear and understandable images to demonstrate support for the head, neck, and spine.

Watch the video now (I did not make this video)

Some other recommendations I would share are:

  • Your body is designed to move. Do not sit for long periods of time.  Get up and move.
  • Notice your body moving with your breath while you are at the computer
  • Yawn and stretch throughout the time you are at the computer
  • Give yourself the most space possible across your chest and abdominal wall
  • Allow your spine to have length along the curves (You don’t want to straighten the spine)
  • Have the bottom of your feet flat on the floor or some other surface

MOST IMPORTANT – Your awareness of your body is more important than the computer. Pay attention to your body and make conscious choices of how you want to sit at the computer.
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Alexander Technique relieves Neck Pain & Helps You Unwind

Two major health media outlets have recently published articles about the health benefits of Alexander Technique.

In the Annals of Internal Medicine, a study was published demonstrating that Alexander Technique and Acupuncture both led to significant reductions in neck pain and associated disability compared to usual care at 12 months.

Alexander-Technique-300x200-150x150

Physical therapist diagnosing patient with painful arm
Hands-On Guidance of Alexander Technique

Also, in the Harvard Health Publications of Harvard Medical School by Eva Selhub MD, a very descriptive and accurate article was published regarding the literal unwinding of the body that occurs with lessons.

“Today, AT is considered a mental discipline that teaches individuals how to let go of tension in the body and how to enable the body to move with ease and minimal effort. AT is used to treat a variety of conditions, from musculoskeletal pain and repetitive strain injuries to breathing problems, voice loss, and sleep disorders. Many artists, musicians, dancers, singers, and actors use AT to help enhance their performance. The purpose of AT, ultimately, is to enable individuals to methodically unlearn maladaptive (negative) habits — which can show up in the way we stand, sit, eat, walk, or talk — and instead learn how to return the body to a relaxed, balanced state of alignment and poise.”

With my clients, during Alexander Technique sessions, I am helping them perform important and mundane tasks without pain and tension, like:

Sit at a computer

Speak in front of audiences

Cook in the kitchen

Drive their cars

Talk on the phone

Walk into an audition or job interview

Enjoy the Holidays

If you or someone you love needs to UNWIND or relieve neck pain, PRIVATE SESSIONS in the Alexander Technique may be the solution. For information, regarding private sessions for yourself or as a gift, visit the PRIVATE SESSIONS PAGE.