Pretty much everyone’s childhood included at least one chiding about maintaining good posture. Sit upright! Stand up straight! Can you relate?
Whether it was a teacher, parent, or grandparent, that gentle reminder about slouching was really meant to help us avoid it into adulthood. For various reasons, it’s either worked or not worked.
We slouch at our desks, while driving, sitting, or hunched over a device. The good news is that there are ways you can improve your posture so that long-lasting damage doesn’t occur and cause you pain.
Listed here are a few tips to get you and your spine back on track.
Sit Back in Your SeatTipHero
Are you guilty of lurching forward when driving or watching TV? Try sitting back in your seat with your spine against the cushion as if it’s providing the same support as a wall.
Use a Support Cushion
Wedges and lumbar support cushions are available for you to tuck between your seat and back. They can help you sit upright while seated. Invest in a few!
Avoid Crossing Your Legs
When you sit with your legs crossed, it puts extra pressure on your back, causes your pelvis to tilt forward, and throws your spine out of alignment. We know it’s a tough habit to break but it will help you avoid mysterious back pain in the future.
Get Up and Move
When you’re sedentary, – like when you’re at work – your muscles become tight and tired. Too much of that can spur back pain and cause spinal misalignment. Get up and move whether you’re at the office, on a plane, or stuck in bed.
Switch Arms When Carrying BagsTipHero
That goes for handbags that rest on our shoulders or shopping bags that throw off our center of gravity. Switch shoulders or carry your heavy bags in the middle of your body to avoid spinal strain.
Align Your Ears
Your ears should line up with your shoulders when your posture is on point. Practice by adjusting your head and chin so that your ears are aligned. You can do this while sitting or standing.
Squat to Lift Things
Lift with your legs to avoid straining your back and spine. Approach what you need to lift from the center, squat, and pick it up.
Do the Book Walk
It’s old school but it works. Try walking with a book perched on top of your head to steady your gait and posture.
Give High Heels a Break
Oh, the pressure! Wearing high heels for extended amounts of time can put stress on your back, pelvis, and spine. They can also affect your body’s weight distribution, leading to poor posture. If you must wear them, rotate them with flats from time to time or walk in them for short periods.
Avoid Sleeping on Your StomachTipHero
Sleeping on your back or side is better as it keeps the pressure off your neck and spine. Stomach sleeps exert too much strain on the upper part of the spine, resulting in spine pain and sometimes injury.
Do Deep Breathing Exercises
Breathing from your diaphragm can help you engage your core and elongate your spine. Inhale deeply while letting your abdomen expand, then exhale deeply as it contracts inward. You should feel you chest open and your spine stretch as well!
Set Up an Ergonomic Workspace
Besides getting an ergonomically-friendly chair, you can adjust your desk so that it’s at a proper height, make sure your monitors are at eye level, and rearrange your keyboard so that it’s comfortable for your back and wrists.
Adjust Your Devices
We’ve all had “text neck” at some point, but to change that habit, raise your phone or device to eye level. You can also purchase a prop to set up on a table or desk for your tablet. Your neck muscles will thank you!
Stretch To Open Up Your Back, Shoulders, and Pecs
Take breaks to stretch out during your day. Simple stretches like squeezing your shoulder blades or elbows backward can help loosen up the spine, chest, and back muscles. Find a simple routine like this and spend at least 15 minutes at a time stretching out the tightness.
Yoga not only increases your flexibility and loosens up your vertebrae, but it can also help strengthen your core and balance. Both get weaker as we age.
If you’ve noticed that your gait is off or you have recurring back pain, it could be due to poor posture. These tricks can help and possibly sort it out for you, but if it’s severe, seek medical attention. A chiropractor could be just what you need!
Are conscious of a slouching habit? Which of these tips do you plan on trying? Have you been able to correct poor posture?