We’re all guilty of it. Whether it’s at home, at work or at play, our posture is something that unfortunately gets overlooked time and again.

In 2020 and 2021 we saw the rise of make-shift desks thanks to the ‘work from home’ orders imposed across the nation. We also saw a steady increase in the amount of time we spent on our sofas. Leading to detrimental impacts on our posture. And in 2022, we’re still paying the price.

“Aches, pains and referred pain can all be a result of poor posture,” Osteopath Robin Kiashek says. “I’ve had people suffer from repetitive strain injury (RSI), headaches, migraines and even neck and shoulder problems. And, most of the time, it’s because of posture problems. But that’s not to say you can’t correct these .  All it takes is some awareness.”

Top tips for improving your posture

  1. Be aware of tech neck

Otherwise known as the 21st century curse of resting your chin on your chest while using your phone. We’re not suggesting you ditch your smartphone (although less screentime is something we could all do with).

But while you use your phone, ensure your lower back is properly supported, sit up straight when you’re tapping away on the sofa  and keep your chin up while you text.

  1. Get your work set up right

Neck pain is widely associated with badly positioned screens and looking down rather than straight ahead.  According to The Institute of Osteopathy, tight neck and upper back muscles, stiff joints, and trapped nerves are common effects of spending too long hunched over screens.  If left untreated, this can cause splintering pains through the shoulders and hands.

So, if you’re working from home or in an office:

  • Set the computer screen so that’s it at eye level
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor and try not to cross your legs.
  • Consider a wrist rest to keep your wrists straight and at the same level as your keyboard.
  • Use a headset if you use the phone a lot, rather than clamping the phone between your ear and shoulder.
  • Do some simple neck exercise through the day
  1. Invest in a good mattress

It’s been calculated that, on average, we sleep for a third of our lives (hopefully). So it’s worth doing your research to hunt out a great mattress.

“I’d suggest investing in a supportive mattress and a divan bed  – slats do not support your mattress let alone your back,” Robin says.

Ideally, the divan should not incorporate storage boxes as these lessen its effectiveness.

  1. Sofa time? Sit up straight

Think about the shape that your spine is in as you are sitting and adjust your position accordingly.

Keep your back straight and your head held high. “This will put your spine into a ‘neutral’ position that doesn’t strain it,” Robin adds.

You may find it helps to sit in a chair that gives you better support for your spine rather than a settee. Also, sit with your feet flat on the floor and the whole of your body facing forwards, from nose to toes.

  1. Take a break

Sitting at your desk is all well and good for getting your to-do list ticked off. However, your body is not designed to sit in one position for long periods.

Give it a rest by standing up and walking around for a few minutes, at least once an hour. Maybe get yourself a glass of water? That way when you come back to your desk you can reset your posture.

  1. Reconsider shoulder/messenger bags

They might look fashionable but carrying heavy loads in shoulder and/or messenger bags can cause an imbalance of weight on your spine. Robin explains: “If you lug around weighty items, like laptops and books, as a minimum, opt for a comfortable rucksack and be sure to use both shoulder straps. But ideally, do consider a rucksack with wheels.”

  1. Consider active or dynamic sitting

If you spend most of your day at a desk, we’ve written before about the benefits of Active or Dynamic Sitting.

This is where your seating allows or encourages you to move, increases your stability and strengthens your core abdominal muscles.  It’s a win win.

“There are lots of options on the market including the ‘Swopper Chair’, which I use myself,” Robin says.

If you are suffering pain or discomfort and you would like further information on how Robin may help you, or you would like to book an Osteopathy appointment get in touch.


Cats stretching out Robin Kiashek osteopathic clinics

Observe any cat and the chances are that they are sleeping, stretching or grooming. Cats really know how to look after number 1, ensuring

that their basic needs are met by their owners while treating themselves to plenty of R&R and time off to spruce up and look wonderful for every occasion! So, in honour of International Cat Day (on 8th August), let’s give it up for the world’s favourite pet.

Health-boosting benefits of owning a cat

While it may seem as if cats have got it all their own way it is, in fact, a two-way street. Research shows that the animals have a positive impact on the 1 cardiac health, of their owners and taking a quick catnap during the day can improve creativity, focus and productivity. Our feline friends can also help alleviate 2 stress, anxiety and depression – and teach us a lot about how to relax and live the good life.

Live like a cat

Sleeping – cats sleep between 12 and 16 hours a day, more than most other mammals and twice as much as humans, reports the University of Arizona’s Rubin Naiman in the Huffington Post. Because cats have few predators, they can sleep safely in the knowledge that they’re unlikely to be hunted while they’re dozing. We might not be able to sleep for as long as a cat but we can improve our own sleep by:

  • switching off electronic devices at least 30 minutes before settling down
  • getting comfortable in bed, with supportive mattress and pillows, and enough covers
  • Maintaining an ambient temperature and level of darkness in the bedroom

Being active – you may think that your cat spends most of its time napping and you’d be right. But when cats move – playing or stalking prey, for example – they can be surprisingly speedy, leaping and pouncing with great strength and agility. We all know the benefits of regular exercise to the human body – weight control, flexibility, cardiovascular and other health and boosting mood to name just a few:

  • Opt for at least 30 minutes’ five days a week, or more if you can manage it safely
  • Limit sitting time by taking regular breaks if you work at a desk or getting up and putting the kettle during TV ad breaks at home, for example
  • Build a healthy exercise habit scheduling in regular exercise and remembering to warm up beforehand and cool down afterwards

Me time – no animal is better at taking time out for themselves, whether this involves resting, playing or grooming. We can do a lot to keep stress at bay by emulating their ‘so what’ attitude (within reason, of course), and grabbing some R&R by:

  • Pursuing a hobby
  • Going out with friends
  • Reading a book or watching your favourite show (remembering to get up during the ad breaks)

Stretching – cats stretch every time they wake up from sleep, which is often! As well as feeling good, the act of stretching loosens and realigns muscles, readying the cat for activity. It stimulates alertness by increasing blood flow to the muscles and brain. It also gets the lymph circulation on the shift, flushing out waste and toxins, including carbon dioxide and lactic acid. Stretching does much the same for humans. Over time, it also reduces tension, improves posture, strengthens and improves the flexibility of muscles (benefiting the joints) and enhances the body’s range of motion.

Safe stretching (for humans)

  • Stretch on both sides of the body to keep things even
  • Hold each stretch for about 30 seconds – and don’t bounce!
  • Keep breathing – breathe out when going into a stretch and hold this while you inhale
  • Focus on each of the different muscle groups in turn – working your way through the shoulders, neck, calves, thighs, hips, arms and the lower back

If you’re still feeling stiff and strained in your neck, arms or lower body do get in touch to see how osteopathy can help release the tension and relieve tight, inflexible muscles and bad posture.


  1. University of Minnesota’s Stroke Institute’s 10-year study of over 4,000 Americans, 2008.
  2. A study by the State University of New York reported in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine (September/October 2002).