Good posture plays an essential role in our physiological health. If you carry yourself with poor posture, you may experience musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) that manifest as joint and muscle pain. Good posture ensures your bones and joints are aligned properly so that you can use those joints without stressing them and their connective tissue. To promote good posture, follow these seven simple tips.
#1) Evenly Distribute Weight Across Both Feet
When standing, evenly distribute the weight of your body across both your feet. If you allow your weight to shift to either your right or left foot, that side of your body will experience greater stress, which causes a misalignment with the opposite side of your body. By distributing your weight evenly across both your feet, you’ll maintain proper alignment while minimizing the risk of posture problems in the process.
#2) Don’t Slouch
Whether you are standing or sitting, don’t slouch. Slouching generally refers to tilting your upper body in front of your lower body. We’ve all been guilty of slouching at some point, and usually it doesn’t cause any harm. If you get into a habit of slouching, though, it will take a toll on your posture by stressing the muscles in your lower back and neck. Instead of slouching, lean back just slightly while sticking your chest out to achieve an upright and healthy posture.
#3) Plant Feet Shoulder-Width Apart
Be conscious of where you plant your feet in relation to your shoulders. For good posture, try to plant your feet about shoulder-width apart. In other words, your feet should be directly below your shoulders. If you plant your feet closer or farther apart, it will place additional stress on your joints and muscles.
#4) Relax Your Shoulders
Stiff shoulders is a contributing factor to poor posture. If your shoulders are stiff, it means your shoulder muscles are in a state of constant contraction. Like all muscles in the body, shoulders usually contract and then relax. But some people suffer from chronic tension that prevents their shoulder muscles from relaxing. As a result, their stiff shoulders prevents increases stress on their spine, contributing to back pain. If you’re experiencing stiff shoulders, try to mentally relax them. With your eyes closed, allow your shoulder muscles to relax.
#5) Perform Planks
Plank exercises aren’t just great for strengthening your core muscles; they can improve your posture as well. What are planks exactly? To perform standard knee planks — there are several other variations — get down on the floor and position your body like you are performing push-ups. Rather than placing your palms on the floor, though, place your forearms on the floor. Now hold this position for one to two minutes, after which you can take a rest break and then repeat. Known as planks, they are highly effective at strengthening your core muscles. At the same time, they keep your spine properly aligned, thereby improving your posture.
#6) Sit Correctly
How much time do you spend in a chair or on a soda in a typical day? If you spend multiple hours a day sitting, it could take a toll on your posture. Sitting compresses the spine with about one-third more pressure than standing. To make the problem worse, many people sit in positions that further increase the stress to which their spine is exposed. You don’t have to stand 24 hours a day, but you should sit using the correct posture. Otherwise, you may experience posture problems.
Follow these rules when sitting to promote good posture:
- Sit with both feet planted on the floor, keeping them about shoulder-width apart at all times.
- Use a chair with built-in support for your lower back.
- Keep your shoulders even and relaxed.
- Bend your knees.
- If your chair has an armrest, use it to when typing or working in front of a desk.
- Adjust the height of your chair so that you can reach your desk comfortably without having to slouch or hunch over.
- Keep your body upright to maintain natural alignment with your spine.
Even when sitting correctly, you should still take breaks to stand at least once every 30 minutes. Just standing and turning around is often enough to stretch your muscles and lower your risk of MSDs as well as posture problems.
#7) Get a Spinal Adjustment
A spinal adjustment can help correct poor posture. If you are suffering from spinal misalignment — a condition in which intervertebral discs aren’t in their natural, correct position — consider booking an appointment with a chiropractor. During a spinal adjustment, the chiropractor will manipulate your spine back into its correct position so that it doesn’t cause or contribute to posture problems. A spinal adjustment isn’t a cure-all solutions for all posture problems. But when used in conjunction with the other tips listed here, it can help correct your posture.
To learn more about Atlanta Chiro and Wellness’s chiropractic and integrative medicine services, contact us today.Share