Yes, we all need to start being good to ourselves. I'm not talking about a day at the spa, a reward of chocolate, or a quilters favorite, Fabric Acquisition Road Trip (FART for short). I'm talking about being good to our bodies.
That is, having the correct posture not just when sewing, but all the time. Recently I saw a news article about iHunch and how our phones are ruining not only our posture but our mood. And it made me take notice!
Over the past year, I've become very conscious of my posture, especially my shoulders rolling in. I attribute it to several things: age; constantly being cold, which makes me hold my arms across my torso to stay warm; and sleeping on my side, which is more on the back of my shoulder than on my arm. One would think I wouldn't have this problem because I swim, which uses a lot of arm, shoulder, and chest muscles, but alas, I do.
After spending the afternoon yesterday at the longarm, and reminding myself to stand up straight, I felt that good posture really needs to be addressed. I've seen too many young longarm quilters hunched over their frame, and it scares me to think what their backs are going to look like in twenty years.
So for you longarm quilters, stand up straight and relax those shoulders. Please don't hunch over and hang on the machine handles. There's a great post at archaicarcane.com for frame height and other body position suggestions. Well worth reading.
And what about sit down quilting? We've all been told to have good posture when sitting at a sewing machine. But do we do it? Referring to the picture above, see if that's you. Adjust your table if necessary, and get yourself into the proper position before sewing to achieve that, and make it a habit. For me, that's sitting up, relaxing my shoulders (do not hold them up by your ears!), and resisting the urge to bend forward.
I've found a great resource for practicing great posture all day, Handy Tips for the Perfect Posture. It's something that we all need to practice, and be conscious of, because we want our bodies to be pain free. So I keep reminding myself to sit/stand up straight, shoulders back, and avoid bending my head too much look at my phone or my work on the longarm. And yes, I try not curl in my arm while on my side at night - tough, but at least I'm aware of it.
So please, sit and stand up straight! You'll thank yourself later.