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Note 313 – Upper cross syndrome


Image via Wikipedia

This blog post is not a ‘writing fact’ as such but instead relates to the posture issues I have been talking about over the last few weeks. As a writer, I’m guilty of sitting at the computer incorrectly (or sitting anywhere incorrectly for that matter – more about that another day). Anyway, my chiropractor Mark Thomas asked me to look up upper cross syndrome. As I love learning new words and phrases, and feel compelled to teach others, here are my findings.

According to an extremely interesting article written by Spencer on the site Back to, upper cross syndrome (also known as student syndrome or corporate syndrome), is “a pattern of tight and weak muscles the body develops based off of one’s postural tendencies”. He explains that someone with upper cross syndrome may suffer from “tight shoulders and base skull muscles”. These muscles are possibly tight because of the position of the head in relation to the rest of the body which can result in anterior head carriage.

There is another interesting article on the same site called how to self-diagnose anterior head carriage. To work out if someone has anterior head carriage, their ear won’t be directly above their shoulder when they stand sideways (a bit like the image of the poor posture above). Wouldn’t we all like to be standing like the ‘good posture’ image?

The article also suggests looking at people around you to see how they are sitting – most of the time they will be hunched in some way. I drafted this blog in the library at lunchtime and as far as I could see, everyone on the other computers looked hunched. I was being good and sitting up straight, but that may have been because I was writing about it!

My posture feels much better since yesterday anyway, because Mark has shown me how to draw my shoulders back and pull the back muscles downwards. It’s hard work though and I have to keep remembering.

The longer you ignore bad posture, the worse it can get for you – the body is designed to be in a natural position when standing and sitting. If you think about it, when you are not sitting properly, certain muscles are put under strain by contracting. This means that they may be overstretched and therefore get weak over time.

I urge you to sit up straight today!

Until tomorrow…



About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer


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