We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The most common postural problem with desk-sitting and desk-reading is Postural Kyphosis (one type of kyphosis, aka "hunchback"). It is due to a lazy, slouched or slumped sitting posture with the head too far forward and upper back too rounded, but in time it continues as a lazy habit while standing and walking: slightly hunched and with shoulders forward.
In medicine, this posture has been nicknamed "Scholar's Hump" and "Dowager's Hump."
It is bad for your back and terrible for appearance - adds years to your appearance. You can try to strengthen postural muscles by sitting tall with your shoulders back. You have to sit on your "sitz bones," aka ischial tuberosities" and not on your behind. You also have to get rid of the habit of neck-leaning, peering forward or downwards.
Another help can be a straight-backed chair, if you use the back of the chair and resist peering forward.
Another corrective could be a lumbar support cushion or pillow. They keep your spine in a natural position and remind you to sit properly.
If your postural kyphosis is bad enough, add some exercises to attempt to strengthen your core to make it easier to correct it. The best are planks, deadlifts, and weighted squats.
Ideally, you should be focusing on engaging your postural muscles all the time, regardless of what activity you’re pursuing. Whether you’re working out at home or at the gym, standing in line at the grocery store, or sitting at your desk working, you should make it a point to keep your abs pulled in, your shoulder blades rolling down the back so that your chest is up and forward, and your spine in one line.
Postural muscles are "automatic". There is little one can do without the aid of an educated healthcare professional to peel back the many layers of postural decay. Exercise routines such as yoga can be helpful but dealing with the musculature or postural dysfunction is complex. Some muscles are tight(hypertonic) some are flacid(hypotonic). Its a challenge to figure which are working in a normal anatomical fashion and which are pathological. If I had to pick one of dozens of treatments, rolling slowly, supine on a theraball daily may help. Often times, if left untreated, the skeleton will ossify and "lock" the posture; This is especially true in the seniors category. Since we are "flexion" oriented creatures, taking a break every hour to "extend" will help.
A book that I can recommend that most will be able to read and comprehend is Anatomy Trains by Myers. I have other texts that go "deeper" but without a strong knowledge base in the subject matter reading will be arduous.
Funny you should post this. I ended up with severe nerve pain in my right arm due to poor sitting, bad desk/computer set up. I went through 2 months of twice-weekly physical therapy to work toward fixing everything.
I bought a new keyboard, repositioned my desk and chair, and lowered my monitor so I now look down instead of up at the screen.
It really has helped. My other goal is to do more walking. I work at a desk all day and don't get a lot of regular movement into my day.
I have a friend who's really hot on the subject of sitting less during the day. She's set up her computer that it reads everything to her, and makes a point of replacing books with audiotapes or videos she can take in while walking or using the treadmill and the like.