We’ve all been guilty of bad posture- either through slouching, hunching over, laziness or just always rounding the shoulders forward. Slouchiness can cause neck pain, back pain, even trouble with your hips, legs and feet. It can also contribute to trouble sleeping.
But, what is good posture? What does it look like?
Good posture means standing erect, shoulders back with hips and shoulders aligned perfectly. When sitting in a chair, especially when sitting at the desk while working, good posture means a person is sitting back in the chair where the curve of the back rests comfortably on the lumbar support part of the chair, the chair is at a level where your feet comfortable rest on the floor- toes to heal, and shoulders erect and pushed back.
Good posture can alleviate a lot of pain and other complicating conditions such as, chronic headaches, jaw pain, lung function issues, gastrointestinal issues or becoming hunchback.
So, how can you improve your posture? Here are five easy steps that can change your health in days.
- GET MOVING
Yes, get moving! I know what you are thinking….I’m in pain and moving around will cause more pain. Why would I do that? Because it works… YES, it does. When picking an exercise or activity to start, look for something that will be less painful to your complaints. For instance, if you are having pain in your feet, knees, and legs – maybe Zumba or Cross Country training is not for you –AT LEAST NOT AT THIS POINT. But, try something low impact like swimming, rowing machine, or yoga. Then, on the days you feel better, add something a little more strenuous into the routine. But, remember, keep moving, even if it’s just doing dishes, vacuuming the carpets or gardening. What’s that commercial say on television- “a body in motion tends to stay in motion,” that’s exactly right.
- PRACTICE BREATHING
With the craziness in the world and the demands of employment, bad posture is at
times contribution to these reasons. So, taking time to just breathe and manage your breath can help reduce stress and in turn help with remembering to stand up straight. Make sense?
- STRETCH IT OUT
Yep, stretch it out. In the middle to the day, before bed, first thing in the morning, just take some time to do some basic stretches to keep the muscles active and limber.
- FIND THE RIGHT PILLOW
Our sleeping patterns and comfort are very important to our health, so we want to make this time the best possible. One way to do that is to find the perfect pillow that can help your posture. The wrong pillow can cause neck pain and bad posture. Depending how you sleep, will depend on the type of pillow that you need.
- IF ALL ELSE FAILS – TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR
If you tried the four steps above and did not improve your pain or posture, you might want to seek the advice of a doctor testing to rule out a medical condition or injury.