Did you know that posture — the way you hold your body when sitting or standing — affects your physical and mental health?
Posture isn’t just about “standing tall.” Poor posture can cause problems throughout your body, such as back and neck pain, muscle fatigue, digestive problems, mood disorders and more. It causes extra wear and tear on joints and ligaments, increases the likelihood of accidents and makes some organs, like the lungs, less efficient.
Posture also affects how others view you and plays a role in the first impression you make when applying for a job or starting a new relationship. Researchers have even shown a link between poor posture and an increased risk of being a victim of street crime. One study showed that women who walked looking down were more likely to be mugged than those who walked with their heads held high.
Bottom line: posture matters more than you think. Are you feeling the effects of slouching? Fix your posture with these tips:
- Avoid standing with a flat back, with your pelvis tucked in and lower back straight. Allow your spine to curve at natural spots in the neck, chest and lower back.
- Stand straight and tall with your shoulders pulled back and down, your stomach tucked in and your pelvis in a neutral position.
- When standing, bear weight primarily on the balls of your feet, keep your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Allow arms to hang naturally at your sides.
- When sitting, keep your feet flat on the floor or on a footrest; don’t cross your legs. Be sure your knees are at or below the level of your hips and adjust the backrest of your chair to support your low- and mid-back.
- Think about aligning your body from the top of your head down through your spine. Avoid sitting or standing with your chin pushed forward; allow your spine to support the weight of your head.
- Sit with relaxed shoulders and forearms parallel to the ground.
- Avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time.
- Use a hands-free device like a headset or Bluetooth when talking on the phone to avoid holding your phone on your shoulder.
- Set your computer on a stable, flat surface and sit in a supportive chair that allows you to sit up straight, with your head aligned and directly over your shoulders and hips when looking at the screen.
- Stretch often to realign your neck and release tension in your shoulders, neck and back.
- Do regular exercises to strengthen your core muscles and improve support of your lower back.
Are you suffering from the effects of poor posture such as back or neck pain and weak muscles and joints? Contact Goshen Health Orthopedics and Sports Medicine today for more information on how we can treat your orthopedic pain.
Posted: 6/10/2016 by
Filed under: exercise, fitness, fitness and exercise