Many people poke their chin forward to look up at a computer screen or TV when sitting without realising it. The poking chin posture is often caused by sitting too low, a screen set too high, a hunched back or combinations of all three. An unsupported lower back or a hunched upper back both encourage the neck to lean and tip the head downward. To compensate for this downward pressure, we lift the chin to look forward without straightening the back.
A poking chin posture can lead to muscle weakness around the neck, compressing the neck joints, which over time can lead to stiffness and pain in the neck, shoulders and upper back and cause headaches.
Correcting a poking chin involves improving your sitting habits and exercises to correct your posture.
One way to tell if you’ve got rounded shoulders is to stand in front of a mirror and let your arms hang naturally by your sides. If your knuckles face forward, it may indicate that you have a tight chest and a weak upper back, giving the appearance of rounded shoulders, also called ‘upper cross syndrome’.
Rounded shoulders are typically caused by poor posture habits, muscle imbalances and an uneven exercise regimen, such as too much focus on chest strength and neglecting the upper back. Over time, these muscle imbalances will result in poor positioning of your shoulders, which can lead to shoulder and neck stiffness and pain.
Exercises to strengthen your core, upper back and chest muscles will help correct rounded shoulders.
Good standing posture:
To help you maintain a correct standing posture, imagine a string attached to the top of your head pulling you upwards. The idea is to keep your body in perfect alignment, maintaining the spine’s natural curvature, neck straight and shoulders parallel with the hips.
Keep your shoulders back and relaxed
Pull in your abdomen
Keep your feet about hip distance apart
Balance your weight evenly on both feet
Try not to tilt your head forward, backward or sideways
Keep your legs straight but knees relaxed