Sit up straight. Shoulders back. Don’t slump. Many have heard these “nags” straight from their parents. Their folks aren’t wrong, though. Proper posture is crucial to good overall health.
Not maintaining the right posture can be detrimental to your health. You could, for instance, develop postural scoliosis. Staying in a bad posture for extended periods can cause muscle imbalance. The spine, in this case, may curve due to uneven muscle tension. If you develop functional scoliosis, you’ll need to undergo scoliosis treatment to address this problem.
What’s more, slumping, slouching and other forms of poor posture can cause muscle tension. This can result in back pain. Low back pain affects 540 million individuals worldwide – and you don’t want to be a part of this figure.
So make a conscious effort to fix your poor posture before it messes with your health.
Here are seven ways to improve your posture and keep aches and postural scoliosis at bay:
1- Quit Slouching
Although slouching offers temporary comfort, it places unnecessary stress on your spine. This pressure puts strain on the joints, muscles and bones that hold your backbone in place. What’s more, slouching pushes your organs down. This places additional pressure on your lungs and intestines.
If you feel like slumping, make the conscious effort to sit up straight (or stand if you’ve been assuming the same position for hours now). Your body will thank you later.
2- Stand Tall
If you’re going to get up from your seat, make sure you know how to stand properly. Be aware of your overall posture. Check if your stomach is sticking out and you’re standing on both legs.
You can further improve your posture by performing this simple standing exercise. First, close your eyes. Then, rock back and forth on your feet. Your goal is to spread the weight equally through your feet. What you want to achieve is a tripod of support with your heels, your little toe and your big toe equally connected on the floor.
3- Wear Supportive Footwear While Standing
As much as possible, refrain from regularly wearing high-heeled shoes. This can induce compensatory alignment of the whole body and affect the body’s center of gravity. These negatively impact posture and back support.
If you’re standing for long periods, make sure that you wear proper shoe orthotics. If you don’t have one of these at the moment, see if you prop a leg on a footrest or place your feet on a rubber mat. Both these suggestions can make you feel comfortable while you’re standing.
4- Identify the Warning Signs of Back Pain Caused by Poor Posture
Improper posture may result in back pain. If you’re experiencing this type of discomfort, take steps to address it. This doesn’t mean reaching in your medicine cabinet and grabbing a painkiller. Look at your chair or desk setup and make sure that you’re seated as upright as possible. Remember that posture-related issues can begin at any age, so don’t take the warning signs for granted.
5- Avoid “Text Neck”
Playing or using your mobile phone or tablet all day can cause “text neck.” Tilting your head to check the screen on your handheld device can strain your spine. This strain builds up over time.
You can avoid “text neck” by lifting your device and moving your eyes, not your head. Also, take a couple of minutes to stretch your neck if you’ve been staring at your mobile phone or tablet for an extended period. Working your neck enables your body to relax momentarily and adjust.
6- Work Out Your Body
Summer is just a few weeks away. Instead of slouching at the sofa and doing nothing, get up and move your body. If you’re on break, do productive summertime activities to stay physically fit and active. You could, for instance, engage in sports, such as swimming and cycling.
You could also do specific workouts to improve and maintain your posture. Weight-bearing exercises, such as running and walking, can help build bone strength. Another suggestion is to do core stability workouts to strengthen the muscles in the abdomen and the lower back. Last but not the least, you can do aerobics to keep you upright when you move and stabilize your spine.
7- Use Pillows When Chilling on Living Room Furniture
Sitting on a comfy chair or a couch can make you slouch. You can minimize slouching by sitting on a pillow or putting a pillow behind your back.
Poor posture can strain your muscles and negatively affect your quality of life. Get the slump out of your system and improve your overall health by taking note of these seven suggestions.