Improve Your Posture
Jun 09, 2022
How can posture affect my health?
Poor posture can be had for your health. Slouching or slumping over can:
- Misalign your musculoskeletal system
- Wear away at your spine, making it more fragile and prone to injury
- Cause neck, shoulder, and back pain
- Decrease your flexibility
- Affect how well your joints move
- Affect your balance and increase your risk of falling
- Make it harder to digest your food
- Make it more difficult to breathe
Are you hunched over, head looking down at your phone right now? Are you slumped over your desk looking at a computer screen at this info? Straighten and listen up!
How can I improve my posture?
- Be mindful of your posture during every day activities, like watching tv, washing dishes, or walking.
- Stay active! Any kind of exercise may help improve your posture, but certain types of exercises can be especially helpful - yoga, tai chi, and other forms of movement that focus on awareness. I'll share a few specific exercises at the bottom of this post for you to get to work!
- Maintain a healthy weight. Extra weight can weaken your abdominal muscles, cause problems for your pelvis and spine, and contribute to low back pain. All of these affect your posture.
- Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes. Higher heels can throw off your balance and cause you to walk differently. This puts more stress on your muscles and can harm posture.
- Make sure your work surfaces are at a proper height for you! Your chair, your desk, your countertop when you eat dinner - these are all factors that can harm your posture over time, as they are repetitive movements.
How can I improve my posture while sitting?
- Switch sitting positions often
- Take brief walks around your office or home
- Gently stretch your muscles every so often to help relieve muscle tension
- Don't cross your legs - keep your feet on the floor with your ankles in front of your knees
- Make sure that your feet touch the floor, or if that's not possible, tuck a foot rest underneath you. (Yes, even at your work desk.)
- Relax your shoulders; they should not be rounded or pulled backwards
- Keep your elbows in close to your body. They should be bent between 90 and 120 degrees.
- Make sure your back is fully supported. Use a back pillow or other back support if your chair doesn't support the natural curve of the lumbar spine (low back)
- Make sure that your thighs and hips are supported. You should have a well-padded seat, and your thighs and hips should be parallel to the floor
How can I improve my posture while standing?
- Stand up straight and tall
- Keep your shoulders back, not rounded forwards
- Keep your head level
- Let your arms hang down naturally at your sides
- Keep your feet about shoulder width apart
- Try these exercises that will, if completed regularly and over time, improve your posture!
Child’s Pose: For a postural stretch begin with a simple child’s pose. Sit in a kneeling position on a carpet or yoga mat to protect your knees then, with knees touching, sit your pelvis back as far as it will go without force. The rest of your body should lean forward with your arms stretched over your head as far as they will go without force. You should feel a stretch in the shoulders and arms, down your spine through lower back. Rest your arms and forehead on the mat.
Seated Shoulder Stretch: Begin by sitting on a mat then cross your legs as comfortably as possible. Place your fingertips behind you (roughly a foot away), and lean back slightly. Be sure to straighten your arms without locking them. If that is too extreme, you can move your arms further away from your hips to adjust. This should cause a mild stretch in your front shoulders and chest.
Chin Tuck: The third exercise that will strengthen and improve your posture is the chin tuck exercise. This exercise is extremely effective in stretching and strengthening the postural muscles of your neck that are strained and, oftentimes, painful due to poor posture.Gently stand against the wall, following the normal curvature of your spine.With your feet a few inches from the wall, touch your head to the wall and have your chin parallel to the floor. Push the chin straight backwards and hold it for 5 seconds. Repeat this 10 times. After some practice, this can be down standing or sitting without the wall.Sitting at a desk all day, or repetitive motions can cause poor posture. So here are some exercises that will, if completed regularly and over time, improve your posture! Try this exercise about 5 tSitting at a desk all day, or repetitive motions can cause poor posture. So here are some exercises that will, if completed regularly and over time, improve your posture!imes a day, and over time you will see exponential improvements and less pain!