Good posture does not only help protect your body against common pains and injuries but also helps you gain confidence in life.
Let’s do a quick activity. Create a mental image with these words: shoulders slouching or rolled forward, head jutting forward, back rounded. What can you picture? You’d probably say you see a person who is weak, tired, stressed, unhealthy, downtrodden, and even unattractive. Needless to say, there is nothing positive that you can think of when you picture someone with bad posture.
If you have bad posture, don’t think that it’s just how it is and there’s nothing you can do about it. In truth, just a few simple adjustments can make a big difference in your posture. With these steps, you can see continuous improvement in time:
- Do not work without any support for your arms – arm rests are very important for helping to maintain a healthy posture
- Do not tuck your feet under your chair or cross your legs. Doing the latter may cause poor circulation. Instead, keep your feet flat on the floor and make sure that your knees are a bit lower than your hips when you’re sitting.
- Avoid tilting your head up or down when you’re working. Instead, keep your head straight as much as possible. You may need to reposition your computer monitor or even the height of your work table to achieve an optimal position.
- Do not slouch forward. Keep your shoulders back but do try to relax. Use the back of your chair to give you some support.
- You should not keep your chest in, nor should you stick it out too much. Instead, try to keep it perpendicular to the ground.
- Keep your shoulders back but still relaxed.
- Use your abdominal muscles to hold your body up and straighter.
- Avoid standing in the same position for extended periods of time. Try to shift your weight from one foot to another from time to time. If possible, do walk around a little.
- To ease pressure on the hips, always bend your knees slightly.
- Swap your high heels when you need to stand for hours. Opt for high-quality shoes that offer really good support. Shoes with adequate cushioning and support are the ideal footwear for any situation.
- Do not arch your back. Keep your buttocks and your stomach in line with the rest of your body, too.
- Avoid looking down when you’re walking. Instead, look straight ahead of you. This is not only better for your posture but also safer for you, especially when walking in a public place.
- Pay attention to how you make your steps. Always hit the ground with your heel first and roll onto the toes.
WHEN LYING DOWN/SLEEPING
- Avoid sleeping on your stomach as it can cause some pressure on the spine. It’s better to sleep on your back. You can put a pillow under your knees to help take some stress off of the low back. Sleeping on your side with a pillow tucked between your legs or under your knees for support is the second best position to sleep in.
- Avoid stacking pillows beneath your head when you sleep as that may cause your neck to bend in an unnatural way.
- Choose a firm mattress that supports sufficient support – not too soft nor too hard.
These are very simple and direct steps on improving your posture. Of course, some lifestyle changes may also be necessary. Exercising and keeping your weight down contributes a lot, too!