The table below summarizes the posture patterns that ensue from sitting at a desk and working on a computer all day. There are actually more patterns that could be added (e.g., the lack of trunk rotation and lateral flexion that comes with sitting all day), but this list is a good start.
I use the terms “release” and “engage” in this table as placeholder terms to describe a number of possible muscular actions.
“Release” refers to any exercise or other measure intended to relax or lengthen a muscle or muscle group – passive stretching, active stretching (PNF, AIS, etc.), reciprocal inhibition as an antagonist muscle contracts, self myofascial release (SMR), self-massage, professional massage, postural awareness, etc.
“Engage” refers to any exercise or other measure intended to put a muscles or muscle group to work – typically using a muscle to move your body or a weight against gravity or other form of resistance.
Developing workout routines (with your trainer or on your own) that address these patterns can help you work more comfortably and productively. The office fitness exercises section of this website is a good place to start.
|head forward||anterior neck||posterior neck|
|chin up||suboccipitals||deep front neck muscles|
|scapula up and over||pectoralis minor||lower trapezius|
|scapula protracted||serratus anterior||middle traps, rhomboids|
|shoulder girdle forward||pecs, ant. deltoid||lats, post. deltoid|
|shoulder internal rotation||subscapularis||infraspinatus/teres minor|
|arm flexion||biceps, arm flexors||triceps|
|forearm pronation||pronator teres||supinator|
|wrist flexion||wrist flexors||wrist extensors|
|finger flexion||finger flexors||finger extensors|
|rigid thorax||deep thorax muscles||deep thorax muscles|
|torso collapse||deep postural muscles||transversus abdominus, “core”|
|C-shaped spine||abs||erector spinae|
|trunk flexion||abs, psoas||erector spinae, lats|
|hip flexion||iliopsoas, other hip flexors||glutes, hamstrings|
|flexed upper leg||hamstrings||quads|
|flexed lower leg||gastroc, soleus||tibialis ant., foot extensors|
|plantar shortening||intrinsic foot flexors||intrinsic foot extensors|