Do As I Say, Not As I Do

All physical therapists are human just like you or me. They tie their shoes one at a time, enjoy watching March Madness and spend time doing fun things with their family and friends. Every now and then, sometimes we as physical therapists do not take our own advice when it comes to posture, habits and routines. Here are three common faults we fall into, and what we can do to correct them:

1. Sitting in the same position too often

We all know sitting too much is not good for your health. Diving into the research more, you begin to realize how detrimental it can be for your physical, mental and emotional health as well. Common ways to offset this include:

-sitting on the floor

-using a sit to stand desk

-having a walking meeting instead of a formal sit down one

-establish a nightly walking routine outside

2. Slouching in the same position on the computer and phone

Another “postural” habit that even PT’s tend to fall into, we all get stuck every now and then in slumping at our computer with a forward head position. Chronic headaches, neck tightness and rotator cuff issues are all common issues that can arise from. Common ways to offset this include:

-using a sit to stand desk

-set a timer on your phone to limit social media use

-establish a nightly mobility routine that involves thoracic spine work on the foam roller, tennis ball work on your suboccipitals and some shoulder blade squeezes to get your upper back moving

3. Skipping the warm-up before a workout

I admit, I am probably the worst offender of this one. The last thing I want to do at the gym is to take 5-10 minutes to properly warm-up before a workout. It is even worse during a basketball game, I just want to start the game right away and go. How to combat this urge to skip the warm-up?

- Establish a consistent routine that takes minimal cognitive effort to remember.

- Find exercises that help you directly with the activity you want to do well at and not just use a basic routine you found online

- Do a warm-up with a friend. You can encourage each other to stick to the routine and reach your potential

I am guilty of these three faults from time to time as anyone else. What is important to remember is that we are all human. It is okay to make mistakes as long as you identify them and work towards offsetting them. The common theme with these three faults are to vary your positions more often, establish routines and have others help you along the way. A few little tweaks can immensely improve your daily life. Figure out what habits you can adjust to help become the best version of you!

Tom Broback, DPT, CSCS

Instagram: @performancedocbroback

Twitter: @TomBroback