Most people don’t think about their posture very often, and spend most of their day standing or sitting with improper posture. In fact, as I'm writing this article I’m slouched in my chair at my desk. Do as I say, not as I do, I guess.
Having good posture is very important to your overall health, yet because of the way we live our lives most people suffer from poor posture, spending 8-9 hours a day hunched over their desk, or straining to look at their phones. But with these simple tips, you can start fixing your posture and moving toward a healthier lifestyle.
It is so easy, and sometimes comfortable, to sit at your desk or on your couch slouched over, shoulders hunched. But this can be terrible for your spine. It puts stress on your bones, muscles and joints. Try straightening yourself out - while standing, make sure to stand tall with your head straight, shoulders back, and spine elongated. While sitting at a desk make sure to sit with your back fully against the back of the chair, feet planted firmly on the ground, and at a height where your knees are even, or slightly above, hip level.
Add these simple exercises to your daily routine
I know it can be tough to spend all day sitting with proper posture, or standing perfectly straight and tall. So in addition to trying to fix your posture naturally, there are a few exercises that can also help stand a little taller and sit a little straighter.
Child’s pose, downward facing dog, and cat-cow stretches are yoga poses that are great for your posture. They can help to relieve back pain, strengthen muscles, and stretch your muscles.
Spending 20-30 minutes doing these various exercises each day can go a long way to helping your overall posture.
Avoid “text neck”
Nowadays we are all on our phones almost all of the time. And there are some definite physical side effects to this. Who hasn’t had aches in their hands or fingers from the way they hold their phone, or pain in the neck from looking down at your device all day?
Tilting your head down to constantly look at your phone or device puts serious strain on your on your neck and spine. To help combat this, try lifting your phone up higher so it is more even with your eye level, which will ease the strain on your neck. Or if you’ve found yourself looking down for a long period of time, take a minute and stretch your neck, which can also help ease the burden and strain on your neck.
Try to sleep with good posture
Ever wake up with your back or neck stiff or sore? That’s likely because you are sleeping with poor posture. The best posture for sleeping can vary from person to person. For some people, sleeping on your back is the best way to easy back pain, however, for some with neck pain sleeping face up can actually exacerbate that pain.
If you are waking up with pain, try experimenting with your sleep positions. If you have been a back sleeper, try sleeping on your stomach or your side. If you’ve been a side-sleeper, maybe give sleeping on your back a shot. If that doesn’t work, it might be time for you to upgrade your pillow or mattress. If you’ve been sleeping on a firmer mattress, try switching to something softer. And vice versa for a soft mattress.
Get up and move
The majority of us spend most of our time sitting at a desk, which can be tough on your posture. The longer you sit, the worse your posture tends to get, as over time your body will start to slouch naturally. One way to counteract that is to try to get up and move around or go for a walk once or twice an hour. Getting up and moving around can help you stretch, stand, and move your body in a healthier way.
These few tips are easy to implement into your daily routine, and can have the ability to make a huge impact on your overall health and well being. Remember, do as I say, not as I do.
For more information about maintaining good posture at home, click here.