If you read my blog regularly, you know I’m a big fan of standing when voicing, but that’s not always possible. My associate, Cathy Runnels, explains, “Many broadcasters and voiceover professionals sit a lot, and for long periods of time.” She’s exactly right, so here’s what she suggests to correct your posture when seated:
“Few people are aware that posture supports a functioning respiratory system, which in turn supports good voicing skills.
The skeletal system is the frame that houses the internal organs and structures for sound and speech. Bending the shoulders even slightly compresses the abdomen, making it harder for the diaphragm to support breathing (for an explanation, watch this short video).
Jutting the head forward, putting weight on one side, swaying the back, are among many positions that can create misalignment of the skeletal system. This can make it hard to breathe easily and to use that breath for maximum voicing.
Here are some tips on how to improve your posture when seated:
- Take note of your seated posture when you’re rested and also when you’re fatigued.
- Practice aligning your body properly at your workstation (see graphic to the right).
- Lift your cell phone or tablet up to eye level instead of hunching over it, which can put as much as 60 pounds of pressure on your spine.
- Get a friend to critique your posture when sitting.
- Swap your chair for an exercise ball to help your posture and balance when sitting at your desk or at home.
- Stand and stretch at least once an hour (click here for some easy stretches).
- Consult with an orthopedist or physical therapist about your positioning if you have any problems with your back and upper body.
- Finally, think of the words flow and alignment when thinking about posture.
Use these concepts to create a good sitting position that will ultimately support your best voice.”
Cathy Runnels, M.S., CCC-SLP is a Voice and Communications Specialist based in the Washington DC metroplex. To learn more about Ms. Runnels, go to: www.aospeech.com, phone her office at 301 879-1981, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.