Looking to Improve Your Posture? Try These Tips
Sit up straight! Don’t slouch! Almost every parent and teacher have been known to utter those words at least once. To some it is just a matter of how you look. To others, it portrays feelings of confidence and self assurance, but good posture has many health benefits as well. They include:
- reduced risk of back pain
- improved circulation to the head, neck and shoulders
- makes breathing easier
- strengthens core muscles in the abdomen and lower back
There are several ways to improve posture. Simple tasks performed throughout the day can strengthen muscles and build a solid support system for the upper body. Good posture is easy to maintain, once the muscles have been trained to acclimate themselves to that particular state of being.
Put post it notes near areas where a person knows their posture may suffer will remind them to sit up straight. Occasionally checking their posture in a mirror is a visual reminder to hold their head up and square their shoulders. Make a conscious effort to sit up straight. Once good posture becomes common practice, a person will be able to tell when they are slouching. The muscles, now accustomed to holding the body upright, will let them know when they are slacking and beginning to slouch.
Stretch often and exercise to strengthen the muscles used to maintain good posture. Stretching improves circulation and increases blood flow to the brain. Exercising improves muscle tone and makes it easier for muscles and joints to function as they should. Stretching increases range of motion and improves flexibility. For people who sit at a computer all day, poor posture is often the result. Standing up once or twice an hour and stretching their legs, walking around and taking a few deep breaths can help revitalize them.
Ergonomic furniture can also help improve posture. Chairs that come with an adjustable back rest will help support the muscle structure of the lower back providing stability and firmness. Foot rests, back supports and chair cushions all act to support proper spinal curvature. Keeping the spine in alignment is important if proper posture is to be maintained. Stand up desks are available for people who don’t want to sit down to work. Desks are adjustable and can be maneuvered to accommodate almost any person’s height and needs.
Women who carry large, bulky purses or students who tote around backpacks filled with textbooks can have problems with their posture. One way to alleviate the stress placed on the neck, shoulders and upper back is to only carry a few items at a time. Women should trade in their large bags for smaller clutches that don’t throw them off balance. If a student must carry all of their books with them, change from a backpack to a small book bag equipped with wheels so it can be pulled along instead of carried. The key is to not throw the body off balance by shifting heavy weights from side to side.
About the Author
Kaitlin Gardner currently lives in Pennsylvania and is married to her best friend. In her spare time, she loves to go hiking , hand with her family and friend and enjoy nature.