Most of our jobs have us hunched over computer screens all day long. Right now, as I’m typing this, I’m hunched over my keyboard. You may even be hunched over your screen reading these words! It’s a hard thing to avoid. However, this constant hunching does come with a pretty big consequence: bad posture. Even when we leave our 9-to-5 job, that cramped posture follows us home and into our daily lives. And poor posture doesn’t just look bad, it actually affects your body in a lot of negative ways. Thankfully, there is a simple stretch that you can do every day to help reverse poor posture! Watch the video below to see what stretch will improve your overall well-being.
Slouching creates more problems than posture, far more than you would imagine.
Poor posture can reduce your lung function by up to 30%, which can lead to less oxygen in the blood, shortness of breath, and potential vascular diseases; headaches can come from clenching of your jaw (studies have shown those who hunch tend to clench their jaw more firmly); inevitably, back and shoulder problems can arise; gastrointestinal functions can be compromised; and poor posture has even been found to dampen your mood and worsen depression.
Needless to say, improving your bent posture is important for many more reasons than how you look. Ultimately, your well-being is at stake.
So how can you reverse years of crunching over a computer screen or notebook? This one simple stretch opens up your chest and shoulders, and realigns your body to a more upright position.
All you need to get started is a strap – a towel or belt will also do.
Step 1: Hold the strap in both hands and spread your arms as wide as you can.
Step 2: Pull the strap over and behind your head, so it’s about a 30 degree angle away from you.
Step 3: Stay here for three to five deep breaths. Repeat as necessary.
You should feel this stretch through your chest, your shoulders, your biceps, and even in your elbows. When you feel that gentle stretching sensation through those parts of your upper body, you know you’re doing the stretch right.
Now, there is a way to do this stretch wrong. If you’re sticking your bottom backwards and thrusting your ribs forward, you’re bypassing all the benefits of the stretch. Do yourself a favor and keep your body straight, with your ribs above your pelvis.
No strap? Head to a doorway! Put your hands on either side of the door and step forward slightly, so you still get that same effect without taking off your belt in the middle of the day.
Whichever way you choose to do it, you should remain in the stretch for 20 seconds per side or three to five deep breaths.
By just taking a minute or two a day, you can help correct your posture and avoid all the negative health consequences that come with that workday hunch.
What do you think of this stretch? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.