Your posture impacts your entire body. Whether you are driving your car, sitting or standing at work or relaxing at home, you should always be practicing good posture. If you are in a position where you are sitting for long hours, it’s even more important to improve your posture. Doing so can keep your muscles from being too tight, leading to pain that will impact all areas of your life. Here are 6 quick tips to improve your posture.
#1: Stretch daily
Whether you choose to do so in the morning, afternoon or evening, stretching every day will help your posture.
Shoulder rolls: these are great if you sit for long periods of time. Stand in a comfortable position, relax and take a deep breath in. Lift your shoulders straight up towards your ears. Exhale and roll your shoulders back, while at the same time pushing your shoulder blades towards each other. Repeat this stretch 5 to 10 times.
Cat and Cow pose: this yoga stretch is helpful to stretch out the upper back and neck. On all fours, line your wrists with your shoulders. Tuck your chin and arch your back as you come to “cat” pose. Hold briefly, then tilt your head back and lift your chin, pushing your back down to come into “cow” pose.
#2: Get up!
If you’re constantly sitting, make sure you take a break to get up and move around. Take a minute to do a quick stretch or bend down to touch your toes. Take the long way to the break room to get a water refill or take a restroom break. You might think, “I’m too busy!” A few minutes away from your desk will help you in the long run to avoid painful issues that can impact your work. Poor posture can lead to severe and debilitating issues, but just getting up from your desk for a few minutes occasionally is a great step to take in prevention.
#3: Stop slouching
Slouching adds unnecessary stress on the spine and strains the bones, muscles and joints that are necessary to keep the backbone in place. Bad posture not only impacts your back.
Constantly slouching pushes your organs together, making your lungs work harder. Your intestines are also compacted, causing stress over time that leads to poor digestion. Slouching can be such a bad habit that it’s important to check on yourself occasionally throughout the day. You may be slouching more often than you realize!
#4: Beware of “text neck”
If you are constantly on your phone replying to texts and emails, you are most likely hunched over. Tilting your neck forward for long periods of time cause strain on your spine. Instead of hunching over, lift your phone up so that it’s at eye level. You can move your eyes and not your head. Take a break from your phone and take a minute to stretch.
#5: Firm up the mattress
Soft mattresses let the spine rest in unhealthy positions. Choose a firm mattress that will hold the natural shape of your spine. If you sleep on your side, put a pillow in between your legs. Make sure you have a pillow that is keeping your head level with your spine. If you sleep on your back, opt for a smaller pillow and not one that is really thick. Thick pillows for back sleepers causes the head and spine to be at different levels.
#6: Avoid high heels for long periods of time
Wearing high heels constantly can contribute to “Donald Duck” posture. This occurs when your butt tends to stick out or you have a very pronounced curve in your lower back. This curve can cause lower back pain over time.
Good posture is such an important part of keeping your body and mind healthy. Poor posture can lead to muscle tightness and pain, which then leads to pulled muscles and discomfort. The following tips can help quickly improve your posture. You can read more about improving your posture by following these tips from a licensed chiropractor. Chiropractors can help you fix issues as a result of poor posture and help you learn to manage your posture to avoid further damage to your body.