Humans are not suited for sitting inactive for long periods at a time. In fact, societies that don’t sit but either stand, squat or lie down suffer far less back and posture-related conditions. But that doesn’t help you on Centre Court. But fear not, all is not lost. Here are three things you can do that prevent neck, back or shoulder pain when sitting. The first is pretty obvious.
- Get up and walk around at regular intervals. Whenever there is a break in play, take the opportunity to stretch your legs and walk.
- While sitting, tilt forward keeping your pelvis, spine and head aligned (see diagram). It doesn’t have to be too far and will help stretch out your lower back muscles. If you have the space, you can tip all the way forward and let your head rest between your knees.
- Third and one of the most effective. Place your fingers in the grove behind your ears and let your head nod forward and back, and then side to side from there - this is where you head sits on your spine. Let it ‘balance’ on the top and appreciate the seat beneath supports its weight and not your neck. Heads weigh around 9 lbs and if sitting in the wrong position it puts undue stress on your muscles and spine. Also see here for our advice and correct sitting posture,
Follow these simple steps and you’ll find sitting for long periods easier on your back, allowing you to enjoy the game without the aches and pains.
Post by Roy, out teacher of The Alexander Technique.