Do you have a computer head? No, I’m not asking if your head is a piece of electronic equipment. What I mean is does your head lean forward when you sit or stand? This condition—known as forward head posture—is typical of people who work at computers for many hours each day. So, what can you do to fix your posture? Try Pilates!

First, look in the mirror to see if you are, in fact a “computer head.” Are your ears directly over your shoulders? They should be. But there’s a good chance, if you’re like many people with desk jobs, that your ears are forward of your shoulders. If they are forward, you are officially a “computer head.” And this is really not a club you want to be in.

How Did You Become a Computer Head?

I probably don’t have to tell you that our ancestors were not computer heads. They did not sit at desks. Rather, they moved—a lot! We no longer move like our ancestors. We sit on our asses. And we pay the price.

Computer head syndrome can become an especially serious problem if you have a stressful job. You may find yourself hunched, clenched and tense as you work out problems and try to meet deadlines. Is this you? Don’t despair. Computer heads can be corrected. I’ll give you some tips to help you fix your posture. But first, let’s look at why you need to do it.

Why You Don’t Want to Be a Computer Head

Computer head syndrome goes beyond the forward position of your head. If you’re a victim of the syndrome, you probably also have hunched, rounded shoulders, and your tailbone is tucked under. This may not sound so alarming, but the truth is you’re inviting back pain with this posture. You’re also inviting headaches, neck pain, arm or hand numbness, and pinched nerves.

We weren’t meant to sit for long periods of time—certainly nowhere near the amount of time that we modern humans sit—but a majority of us spend at least five or more hours a day sitting. You want to fix your posture because if you don’t, your muscles will become shorter and tighter. This results in all kinds of aches and pains.

How to Fix Your Posture if You’re a Computer Head

Here’s a simple tip: stand up. Do some light stretches at your work station. Better yet, get up and go outside for some fresh air. Don’t eat lunch at your desk. (Yes, I know, you have a lot to do. But wouldn’t you rather stay pain-free and healthy enough to continue doing it?)

These simple tips—getting up and moving more—may be your saving grace. But perhaps you need more help and want to know what kind of exercise program is best to fix your posture. As I suggested, Pilates is a great antidote to poor posture, because its central principle is development of a strong core. It’s those core muscles that move your torso, pelvis, and spine, so a strong core gives you a more aligned and flexible spine. When your core is strong enough to hold your entire body upright, your shoulders can relax, and your head and neck are free to move. A strong core also takes pressure off the hips, legs, and feet.

So, if you’re suffering from computer head syndrome, consider starting a Pilates practice. It will fix your posture and then some! And if you work with an office full of computer heads, you can even schedule classes right in your workplace.

About Susan Sommers

Hi, I’m Susan Sommers. I’m a native New Yorker, living on the Upper West Side. Pilates Body NYC provides private in-home Pilates instruction, focusing on mindful movement that enables you to reconnect with your body. My mantra is fitness is achieved one thought, one step, and one day at a time. It is a commitment you make to yourself to treat yourself right and give your body what it needs as you age. I believe that Pilates is much more than exercise. I practice it as a way of life that brings strength, awareness, and mindfulness to everything I do. My wish is to help you experience the same.
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