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Thread: Painting posture?
December 2nd, 2006 #1
So, I've never had great posture, though it's something I've been trying to improve. This comes especially to mind whenever I'm packing it in at the end of a full days painting session. I don't know if there is a way to sit in one spot for 7-9 hours a day (or more) and not have your back feel like its fused into one piece, but I'd like to know if anybody knows of one. I try to get up and stretch now and then which helps, though I've never been able to crack my back and many many days I wish I could. Just something that worries me a little. If I'm starting to feel back tension at 24, I don't want to think where it can go in 30 or 40 years.
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I don't know if you prefer to sit but make a habit of using a standing easel that is slightly above eye-level. I also am prone to slouching on any kind of chair, but getting used to standing for hours has seemed to work. Hmm, perhaps look into yoga?
December 2nd, 2006 #3
My moms a yoga teacher ... she had horrible back and after starting to practice yoga, her back problems are gone ...
But be careful, doing it the wrong way can hurt you! So better look for a good pro yoga teacher
December 2nd, 2006 #4
Might also be an idea to look into Tai Chi (again, if you do, make sure you get a good teacher). It cleared up my back, shoulder and posture problems.
December 2nd, 2006 #5
I do winsor pilates, the biggest reason for "back problems" is lack of support in the erector muscles... and impropper bending/twisting especially with weight during everyday living.. Stretches, or work out habbits can help this a lot. Especially excersizes that coincide with good body support - like the ones already mentioned
December 2nd, 2006 #6Originally Posted by Serena-
December 2nd, 2006 #7
You're only 24?... Wow, you sound more mature in your writing, DAVE...
LONG LIVE YOKO KANNO!!!
December 2nd, 2006 #8
Don't listen to them, man, that's the way you're supposed to sit!
Kidding aside, I've found standing can become a real pain for me. I'd say get a stopwatch to count down 20 mins, then go look out of the window and grab something to drink (meaning you'll have to get off your chair more often than that if you keep the water supply coming) and as fooxoo said - yoga, actually any type of excersize. I don't have time for yoga, but everybody I know that does it have better muscle tone not only on their limbs but all over - particulary on their back muscles. Basic stretching does miracles too. I used to do arching last year, helps center you and helps your posture at the same time.
December 2nd, 2006 #9
and actually work bigger
I get to do art on a 4 foot smart board...it's exercise
or a big canvas
reaching and bending.....
To see the world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wildflower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour.
December 2nd, 2006 #10
My mom's been after me for years to learn yoga. I suppose it may be worth giving a try.
I used to paint standing and using large surfaces, but I don't do that much these days (partially for studio spacial reasons, but more just because I enjoy working tighter on smaller boards). I do try to keep my eye level slightly raised, though occasionally I slip into bad habits and hold the painting against my lap, which I know is terrible.
December 2nd, 2006 #11
December 2nd, 2006 #12
Hi Dave! I've played around with my seating arrangement at my computer to relieve a slightly-sore back. I sat on one of those exercise balls for a few months, and I tried a new chair, and new chair heights. Now I've found I'm the most comfortable position is a chair that puts my screens at eye-level - and I don't lean back in the chair most of the time.
That, and situps/pushups/dumbells seem to have gotten rid of my back-ache.
So, I dunno. Try sitting on whatever different chairs or stools you have available, and see how it feels.
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December 2nd, 2006 #13Originally Posted by Dave Palumbo
December 2nd, 2006 #14
Good thread, and good suggestions! I worry about the same problems, though I'm more concerned about tendonitis and carpal tunnel. Health advice I've read for these kinds of things keep suggesting exercising the support muscles to reduce the strain on the sensitive parts. I hear that popping your own back tends to pop the vertebrae into a different wrong position nstead of into the correct one, so it's good not to do it. Also, a different mattress might let your back rejuvenate properly. At least I hope so, for my sake
Then again, maybe it's just safest to visit the chiropractor occasionally and get straightened out. He'd also know way more than most of us do.
Concept Artist, Tencent Boston
December 2nd, 2006 #15
I have heard from medical sources that forcing yourself to pop your joints (Pushing you fingers back till it hurts just to pop it, same with toes) is dangerous, especially with the neck, but if you can pop your neck/ back without painful or excessive force, it is in fact, good for you. I believe it sort of helps reset the vertebrae- like pretend they are tangled on a loose rope. Tighten the rope, and they fall back into place, right? I dunno, you get the picture.
December 2nd, 2006 #16
I know that proper stretching of the legs/arms/back during long periods of standing or sitting is almost beneficial against tension and even permanent damage. Short breaks, even just walking around can do wonders. And like Justin said, forcing "pops" in the joints is awful, bad news bears.
December 2nd, 2006 #17
December 2nd, 2006 #18
I suffered a back injury that made me leave school and not do any art for almost a year and a half. I lay on a couch for over 8 months because the pain was so severe and could not even walk. Long story short Im way better now.
One thing to think about your posture (mine is horrible btw) is that just sitting up straight wont do much, though its a start. Do things like stretch your chest, shoulders and triceps to loosen up the muscles that are pulling your shoulders forward. Also stretch the muscles in your thighs and hips as well as your back to get the back loosened up. Trust me all this helps.
I see a chiropractor regularly to keep things healing. Yoga, as stated by others in the thread, is really good to help get the muscles toned and fit and will probably go along way to helping you out.
Hope all this helps
December 2nd, 2006 #19
a kid in my class in college hurt his back and had this crazy chair he used that made it look like he was sitting on his heels. i personaly tend to work with my stuff on the floor and stand over it and when i sit to paint i sit on my heels. but i think that all come from tiny spaces and no good esasels to use
December 4th, 2006 #20
Hey again Dave,
Try doing this exercise, the plank, several times a week and really push yourself to hold it for 30 seconds, 1 minute, and more. It's very easy, you just need a floor http://www.abs-exercise-advice.com/plank.html
December 4th, 2006 #21
December 4th, 2006 #22
The important thing is that this exercise promotes and strengthens the concave arch of the lower back. I've been doing this in a gym class with a variety of other exercises training the core and it feels a lot more comfortable now keeping my back straight. I can't vouch for gaining a six-pack from doing plank exercises, but it definitely can't hurt to try and see how you feel afterwards Overall fitness is the key to fixing the problems, you can only target specific areas so much.