Good posture is important. It improves your appearance, helps you exude self-confidence, and increases self-assurance. Good posture is something you can achieve after practice and is worth maintaining for the aches and pains it can prevent. Read below for tips on how to maintain good posture in different situations and how a few exercises can assist you in sitting up straight.
Posture While Sitting
- If you’re going to be sitting for a prolonged period of time, get an adjustable chair with substantial back support and armrests. Sit back firmly with your shoulders against the chair, chest lifted, and upper back straight. Keep equal weight on your left and right buttocks, while your feet should be flat on the floor with your thighs horizontal. If the chair is too high, use a wide book or a foot rest.
- If you’re working at a desk, lean forward at your hips, bringing your trunk towards the desk, instead of bending at the waist or neck. Do not crane your neck to look directly down at your work.
- If you’re driving, position your seat so you can easily reach the steering wheel, accelerator, and brake. Change your seat position once in a while, tilting it a little bit forwards or backwards each time. Try a lumbar roll for your lower back.
Posture While Lying Down
- Make sure you don’t have a saggy mattress on your hands, or worse, your back. If you’re waking up with back pain, chances are you may need to change sleeping positions or possibly your mattress.
Posture While Lifting, Carrying
- Watch out for repetitive lifting or carrying objects that are too heavy. Wearing a backpack that is too heavy for you or a shoulder bag can cause posture and back problems later on.
Simple Exercises for Improved Posture
Lower back and abdominal workout: Lie on your back with your arms out to the sides. Bend your knees and raise them slowly to your chest. Slowly lower both knees to the floor on one side. Hold for 15 seconds. Bring knees back to starting position, keeping arms and shoulder blades on the floor, then lower to the other side. Repeat five times on each side.
Back Stretch: Using the rim of a sink, or the side of the bed, or another place you can use for balance, hold on with your arms straight but not locked. Place your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Relax your neck muscles and let your hips sink back as if you were about to sit down. Feel your spine as it stretches out entirely. Hold this position for about 10 seconds. Gradually stand up and repeat five times.
Neck Stretch: Sitting down, hold the chair with your right hand, put your left hand on the rear right side of your head. Gently and gradually pull your head down while rotating your chin to the right. Switch hands and repeat for the opposite side. Repeat five times for each side.
Good posture does not come naturally for most people, however, performing the muscle strengthening exercises mentioned above and practicing good posture while at work or at a desk can help prevent aches and pains from happening in the future. Posture is not what happens naturally when you’re standing, sitting, or lying down; posture is dynamic and can be controlled by you.
Make sure to consult your primary care physician or chiropractor for all health related advice.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.