Working Space

Postural strain

The body functions well when it is allowed to occupy its natural space, so that the spine, joints and organs can work freely. Compressing the body into a smaller space creates postural strain. The common problems of pain in the back, neck and arms are obvious examples of postural strain, but it also affects our breathing and digestion and the efficiency of the nervous system.

If we wish to minimise postural strain and the damage it causes, we must allow the body to work efficiently. We must allow it its natural space.

Habit and awareness

By the time most of us begin our working life, we are well out of touch with natural posture. We have spent thousands of hours sitting badly in school and later education. We have established unhelpful tension patterns. We are functioning from habit.

We human beings are good at creating tension patterns which quickly become fixed and so interfere with our postural system.

We might reasonably describe this as the conflict between habit and awareness. Awareness is our natural state, in which we allow our body to work freely; habit is what we create by fixing tension patterns which quickly become established as our norm. The “normal” and the “natural” have become separated.

The noise of habit drowns out our subtle awareness but doesn’t destroy it. Awareness is always present and available. Choosing workplace tools which allow us to use the body efficiently is a step in the return to awareness.