With the current reliance on technology, posture related problems are at an all time high. Because of the long hours we spend hunching over our cellphones and laptops, many of us are slowly damaging our bodies without even knowing it.
Not only does improper posture result in pain, fatigue and muscle strain, it has also been linked to quite a number of health complications. Maintaining proper posture is, therefore, extremely important and the following set of tips can help you do exactly that.
#1. Get a Good Night’s Rest the Right Way
You probably don’t put a lot of thought to your sleeping position when it’s time to hit the covers, but you should. Your sleeping position can have a detrimental effect to your posture. That’s why some people usually experience a sore neck and back after a poorly chosen sleeping position. Experts recommend that you should avoid hugging your knees while you sleep and instead just keep them slightly bent if you’re a side sleeper. For the back sleepers, you should opt for small pillow rather than a thick pillow and place it under your head so it can help level your spine. You should also consider investing in a firm mattress that can help support your spine’s natural shape a lot better than a soft saggy mattress would.
#2. Don’t Slouch When Sitting
You should maintain a straight back when sitting. Your shoulders should also be pulled slightly back and your back should be resting on the chair’s back. Placing a lumbar cushion behind you will maintain your spine natural curve and help you resist the urge to slouch. Additionally, some experts also recommend resting the feet flat on the floor and bending the knees at right angles instead of crossing the legs. Although it can be quite tempting, you should avoid crossing the legs as it could end up distorting your pelvic alignment and lead to posture problems. For the gamers who tend to spend quite a lot of time sitting they should consider investing in a comfortable chair that’s going to help them maintain the proper posture. A site such as ChairsFX.com has plenty of such chairs which are definitely worth checking out.
#3. Engage in Core Strengthening Exercises
Exercising your abs is not all it takes to achieve a proper posture. You should also engage your core, the area that runs from beneath your rib cage to the thighs. Your core contains most of the muscles that play a major part in helping you sit or stand. Regular core strengthening exercises including yoga and Pilates can help you maintain proper posture by ensuring that the spine is in the best possible shape.
#4. Lift Objects the Correct Way
Strenuous activities such as lifting heavy luggage and carrying kids around could end up damaging your posture if you don’t do it right. You should avoid twisting or bending for a prolonged duration of time while performing such tasks. Instead, try maintaining an upright posture and bend from the knees and hips while also keeping the abdominal muscles tightened while you lift the heavy objects. When it comes to carrying heavy backpacks, ensure that the weight is distributed evenly by carrying it with both straps on your shoulders instead of putting all the weight on one of your shoulders.
#5. Wear the Right Shoes
Comfortable shoes help to keep the body properly aligned. That’s because they support and cushion the feet which are the base of your body and a key player in maintaining your body posture. Proper alignment of the body ensures that there are even distribution of your body weight which prevents pressure from being exerted on a particular part of the body. While choosing shoes, go for the ones that have a heel that’s neither too low nor too high. Shoes with a flat heel can be just as uncomfortable and damaging for your posture as those with very high heels. The recommended heel size is about two to two and a half inches. You can still wear your fashion statement stilettos, but do so in moderation to avoid having posture related complications.
#6. Maintain the Right Posture While Driving
Reclining your seat can be quite tempting especially if you’re on a long journey. Your posture could however end up bearing the brunt of this choice. For the sake of your posture, ensure that your seat is pulled close enough to the steering wheel and your knees are bent slightly. Keep your knees at the same level with your hips or slightly above them. You can also place a rolled up towel or lumbar pillow behind your back to help support your spine.
The Bottom Line
Poor balance, decreased flexibility, neck and back pain, bad digestion, breathing issues and spine injury are just some of the conditions that can be avoided by having good posture. By being mindful of your posture and using the above set of tips, you should be able to achieve good posture and avoid the problems associated with it.