There are dozens of reasons why having poor posture is bad for you, and can have negative effects on your health. It can cause curvature in your spine, and constrict your nerves and blood vessels. Sounds pretty serious right? And all from not holding yourself properly. (Image by Jasmine Kaloudis)
Thankfully there are some ways to make improvements to your back posture. None of these are quick fixes, and you’ll need to invest both time and patience. However, by committing yourself fully to improving things, you’ll find a number of benefits waiting for you. Poor posture can make any depression you might be suffering worse. It could also make you feel more irritable than necessary due to sore muscles.
The first port of call should be looking at how you sit and stand on a daily basis. So many of us work in offices and even those who don’t can spend a lot of time at their personal computer or laptop. Either way, a good portion of your day is spent sitting in a chair at your desk. Consider the following points. Do you have to tilt your chin down or lift your head up to comfortably see your screen? If so, make sure you can see it clearly by looking straight ahead. Do your feet touch the floor, and can they lay flat on the ground? If not, lower your chair. Also, are you utilising your chair as much as possible. If it has arm rests, use them. Wrist supports can also make a difference to how you are holding your hands, wrists and arms. Our body is all connected, so what your arms are doing on a daily basis will travel up to your shoulder and around to your back.
Alternatively, consider seeing a health professional, like a chiropractor. They can help you with things like shoulder, neck and back pain relief, your posture and your general bodily well-being. They will also be able to make a plan to make a long-term improvement to your back and posture. It could be that you have a very mild form of scoliosis, for example, which can cause pain. Treatment can work to improving this, and can help you on your way.
While you are improving things at your desk or with a professional, consider taking classes in either Pilates or Yoga. Pilates is especially effective because it does multiple things for the body. Not only does it increase how flexible and supple your muscles are, it improves strength in your entire body. A stronger body is a healthier body, and far more able to support itself properly.
If you’d rather make your improvements at home, find a reputable DVD or online class to take. The Alexander Technique can also be very effective in improving poor posture. This website will help you learn the basics.
Finally, be sure that you are checking in on your posture on an hourly basis. Maintaining good posture throughout the day is crucial to improving things in the long-term.