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Is the posture you use when leaving your desk doing you more harm than you realise? If you enjoyed our last article on ergonomics you are going to love this one!

Is the posture you use when leaving your desk doing you more harm than you realise?  If you enjoyed our last article on ergonomics you are going to love this one!

We welcome back Dr. Katelyn Furphy, who has recently returned to Inner Balance Health Clinics after having suffered a broken arm.

Since our last blog on ergonomic desk posture proved very popular we thought we would share some more ergonomic and postural tips with you. (Click here to read the original blog again!).

Have you heard of the hip hinge?  Most people are aware that if you have a bad back you should lift with your legs NOT your back. But, what does this really mean? It means that you should bend or ‘hinge’ your hips and knees instead of your waist or spine when you lift. This same advice can be extended to activities such as rising from a chair, getting in or out of your car, up and down from bed, washing your face, etc. The best way to protect your back is to hinge with your hips instead of your back, especially early in the morning or when performing an arduous task such as lifting an object.

This diagram shows a person rising from a chair (image A, utilising the hip hinge, is protecting the back correctly whilst image B is slumping forward and therefore offering no support to the back).  Use these simple steps next time you move from your chair – at your desk or anywhere else:

  • sit at the edge of a chair
  • lift your breastbone up toward your chin
  • stand up keeping your chest lifted
  • it is alright for your shoulders to move forward of your hips, but be sure to maintain a forward ‘C’ shape of your spine (see image below, which uses a higher surface to  initiate training of the hip hinge)

These tips came from the JOURNAL OF BODY WORK AND MOVEMENT THERAPIES JULY 2003(Craig Liebenson DC).  Like the full article emailed to you?  Please contact Mill Park Inner Balance Health Clinics at

Another article you may be interested in having emailed to you explores how your body postures can influence your energy levels – and possibly increase or decreasedepression.  This is a great read and we would like to share a few snippets of it with you:

“The treatment of depression has predominantly focused on medication or cognitive behavioural therapy and has given too little attention to the impact of body movement and posture on brain function and mood…Modifying body posture is a self-awareness and somatic biofeedback technique. Body posture significantly affects the recall of positive or negative memories. Wilson and Peper (2004) showed that when sitting in a collapsed position and looking downward, it was much easier to recall hopeless, helpless, powerless, and negative memories, than empowering, positive memories. When sitting upright and looking upward, it was difficult and for many almost impossible to recall hopeless, helpless, powerless, and negative memories and easier to recall empowering, positive memories. In addition, Peper, Harvey, Takabaya- shi, and Hughes (2009) reported that when an individual client with anxiety and crying looked upward, the tearing and crying stopped. Looking upwards  inhibited crying while looking downwards amplified crying. Thus, body posture appears to directly influence emotions and cognitions. In addition, decreased subjective energy level seems associated with depression. When people experience a lower subjective energy, they feel less capable of performing a task, which then contributes to the risk of becoming depressed…Posture and movement appear to contribute to a change in subjective energy level and to the onset and maintenance of depression. This study explores how different posture and movement patterns affect subjective energy levels.”.

The two articles above are great reasons to become more conscious and aware of how your move your body and we hope they are of benefit to you. Thanks Katelyn for sharing these great ideas.

I would like to share with you my favourite recipe at the moment. These apricot bites are just delicious!

300g dried apricots
50g pitted dates
100g desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons desiccated coconut for coating (optional)
  1. Place everything into food processor.
  2. Blitz on high speed until combined (you may need to be patient!).
  3. Line a small loaf tin with baking paper.
  4. Spoon mixture in and smooth out using the back of a glass that been covered with a little baking paper to avoid sticking.
  5. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  6. Remove from tin.
  7. Slice into 12 bar shapes and then into pieces (approximately 40 small squares).
  8. Place squares and coconut into a bowl. Toss until coated.
  9. Refrigerate in an airtight container.
If the mixture is too dry, process a little longer or add an extra date of two.  You can always use medjool dates however they are quite sweet so taste the mixture as you go.So just a reminder, you don’t need to suffer back pain needlessly. As well as the tips above, osteopathy, acupuncture and remedial massage can all help!  Our team of practitioners at Inner Balance Mill Park, (but servicing suburbs including South Morang, Bundoora, Epping, Doreen and more!) enjoy helping people suffering from back or any other type of physical pain. Osteopaths are available Monday throughSaturday including evening appointments. For more information call 9437 9555 or check out our website.

Have a great week and please “like us” on Facebook or share our communications with people you feel will benefit from receiving them.

Yours In Optimum Health
Dr. Dina Culcasi
Clinic Manager, Owner & Osteopath