Correct posture has got to do more than just looking poised and upright. Posture is the position in which you hold your body upright whether while you are sitting, standing or lying down. Many people have sedentary jobs that require them to sit for prolonged hours.
There are many tools one can invest in to improve posture as living with bad posture can be harmful to your health. In fact, it can cause structural flaws which can lead to reduced flexibility and joint pain that can hinder your ability to burn fat. Some other problems caused by bad posture include:
- Digestive issues
- Foot, back and knee injuries
How to Straighten Your Back
For proper posture, it is imperative you follow these tips:
Sleep On a Firm Mattress
The human body requires at least 7 hours of quality sleep every day. Since you are likely to spend 1/3 of your life in bed, invest in a quality mattress to keep your back straight.
Sleeping in a lumpy and uneven mattress can interfere with your spinal cord, causing damage to your health. Straight alignment relieves pressure points which is commonly associated with back pain.
Wear Quality Shoes
Your feet are the foundation of your body and are integral for good posture. Invest in sturdy shoes with a good arch support and one that offers plenty of space for your toes. Ditch those high heels and pumps for special occasions as they affect the body’s center of gravity and compromise the alignment of the spine.
Get a Seat Cushion
There are tons of seat cushions available in the market in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes. Orthopedic cushions are specially designed to relieve pressure on the spine, lower back and rear end.
This prevents muscle spasms, reduces risk of strain injury and back problems which may result in long-term disability. As these cushions are fairly inexpensive, purchase at least two, one each for office and home use.
Invest In a Good Standing Mat
To improve posture, move around in the office as much as you. If you cannot afford to leave your seat, consider purchasing a standing desk and a standing mat to accompany it. The mats provide the body well needed extra support and relieves pressure on the back, legs and shoulders. Split your office hours between sitting and standing and do not forget to take breaks.
Guide to Proper Posture
According to WikiHow, here’s your guide to improving posture:
Proper Sitting Posture
Spend your entire day slouching at your desk? Here your guide to a proper sitting posture:
- Sit in your chair with your back straight and shoulders back. Your rear must make contact with the back of the chair
- Distribute your body weight evenly on both hips
- Keep your knees bent at a right angle. Do not cross your legs and keep your feet flat on the floor
- Change your sitting position after every 30 minutes to avoid backache
Using a Lumbar Roll
Individuals can benefit from a small rolled up towel or a lumbar cushion to sit up straight and maintain the normal curves in the back. Here’s how you can use a lumbar roll:
- Sit comfortably on your chair and slouch completely
- Slowly accentuate the curve of your back as far as you can
- Hold the position for a few seconds
- Release the position slightly
Proper Standing Posture
Want to look more confident and productive? Here’s how you can improve your standing posture:
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart
- Straighten your back and stand up straight
- Rest all your weight on the balls of your feet instead of the heels. Your natural tendency will be to slouch but do not give up! Stand up straight and notice how the entire body will shift its position with a single motion
- Keep your shoulders square. This might seem difficult at first but with continuous practice, it will become a habit.
- To further improve posture, picture yourself reaching up to the ceiling with the top of your head. Square your shoulders and keep your spine straight. This will not only improve your posture but will help you look more attractive, confident and leaner.
Proper Sleeping Posture
There’s more to sleeping than just lying down underneath the covers. Maintain a proper posture while sleeping by following these instructions:
- Invest in a firmer mattress or better yet an ergonomic mattress to ensure proper back support
- When going to sleep, keep your shoulders straight and sleep on your back instead of lying on your stomach
- For individuals who like to sleep on their sides, fit in a small flat pillow between your knees to keep the spinal cord straight and aligned
- You may use an extra pillow for added support for the head and shoulders. However, too many pillows can cause your head to bend in an unnatural, ruining posture and spine alignment, causing you to wake up with backache or a stiff leg.
Proper Typing Posture
For proper typing posture, invest in an ergonomic keyboard and mouse pad.
- The keyboard in your work area should be at a height that permits your elbows to bend about 90o
- While typing, raise your forearms so that your wrists are at a neutral position and your hands can move freely. You adopt a neutral position when the thumb is in line with the forearm while the wrist is bending slightly back.
- If you use a wrist pad, rest your palms or the heel of your hand on the support
Proper Driving Posture
Apart from helping you look leaner and more productive, a good posture is imperative for safety reasons as well. Here’s your guide to a proper driving posture:
- Rest your back straight against the headrest
- Adjust your seat so it maintains a proper distance between the pedals and steering
- If you have to lean forward, you are too far from the steering and if you are bunched up with your chin almost making contact with the steering, you are too close
By improving your posture, you can lead a healthier life. Follow these tips to look leaner, more attractive and confident.