Fixing That Computer Desk & Video Game Posture

by Chris on June 4, 2012

Most of us spend the overwhelming majority of our time in the seated position. When you’re at work chances are you are sitting at a desk; driving in the car or sitting on the train; at home you are usually sitting to watch TV or eat. Or if you are a member of the video game generation you spend about 25 hours a day hunched over playing Call of Duty.

No matter who you are the result is that all of this time sitting wreaks havoc on your posture and likely causes chronic back pain. And this goes across the board. Not only older people experience back pain as a result of crappy posture. I’ve known plenty of young people (myself included) who have suffered the results hunching over a laptop for too long.

But fear not! There are simple things you can do to combat these issues without having to give up on playing Diablo 3. (Thank God!)

In the video below I demonstrate a handful of simple movements that address the most common issues that result from too much time in a seated position.

Foam Roller T-Spine Extension – This movement attacks limited thoracic spine mobility (i.e. a stiff upper back). Bad mobility in this area has a direct impact on the shoulder and the lower back. If the upper back can’t move freely like it’s supposed to, everything else around it will have to pick up the slack.

Hip Flexor Stretch – Too much time in the seated position shortens the hip flexors and is in my experience one of the primary causes of low back pain. Tight hips pull the pelvis out of correct alignment and screws with the lower back.

Wall Chest/Pectoral Stretch – Another area that tightens up from sitting at a computer or playing a game too much is the chest. Tight chest and shoulder muscles pull the shoulders forward, limits shoulder mobility and affects the movement of the scapula.

Squat-To-Stand Series – This is one of my favorite warm up drills because it attacks so many areas in one movement. It starts with a hamstring stretch and moves into a deep squat with a serious arch of the upper back. This trains mobility and strengthens to muscles of the upper back. You then go into the “prayer position” which stretches the groin and inner thigh and finish with a thoracic spine rotation, which helps upper back mobility. This move is a full warm up all rolled into one.

If you spend most of your time sitting, like most of us do, these are just some of the movements you should consider included in your warm up before training. If you want to take it a step further, you can perform many of these moves throughout the day. I often recommend that my clients perform some of these daily. Remember this: you are in the gym only a few hours a week. The other 160+ hours per week you are fighting the improvements you made while training.


steve June 27, 2012 at 2:49 pm

nice group of stretches you put together there.Using them all and curse more doing them(foam roling especially) than actually working out so they must be needed

Chris June 27, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Glad to hear you are getting some use out of them Steve.

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