From hunching over at our desks to sitting in uncomfortable, non-ergonomic work chairs, neck and back pain can sometimes be a symptom of a long workday. Of course, talking to your doctor about chronic pain is best, but there is also a technique you can try at home or in the office, and it costs nothing. The Five-Point Posture Test checks various points of your body for proper alignment, including your nose to chest, shoulders, knees, and more. If one of them looks off, it may be time for you to take further steps to improve your neck and back health.
Nose to Chest
While looking in a mirror, picture an imaginary line from the tip of your nose to your chin, stopping at your chest. As you’re doing this, pay attention to whether your head is leaning or rotating to one side as you “draw” the line.
Checking your shoulders is next. Sometimes your desk setup can impact your shoulders or one shoulder can overcompensate if you carry a bag often. Draw another imaginary line from one shoulder across your chest to the next. You can also ask a friend to walk behind you and see if your shoulder blades look even. If they appear to be different heights or uneven in some way, you may require further assistance to improve your shoulder alignment.
To check your arms, make sure they appear equally as long on both sides and that the spacing between your body and your arms is the same as they hang by your side.
Do your knees appear to be level with one another? If so, then your alignment is likely in good shape. Another idea is to check if they turn inwards or are hyperextended. If you’re dealing with frequent knee pain check that your work chair is set at the proper height or look for some ergonomic mats to stand on at your workstation.
The last stop in the Five Point posture check is your pelvis. A sign of a misaligned pelvis could be a low backache or an unbalanced walking gait. Most people have a pelvis that has a natural tilt of around 15 degrees. When you check yours, be sure to pay attention to if it turns inwards or outwards, which can be a sign of a potential imbalance. Having good lumbar support could help in this area.
It can be easy to get caught up with work and forget to prioritize your health and wellness. Take care of yourself and avoid neck and back pain by trying the Five Point Posture Test.