How to Fix Your Terrible Posture
As an adult, you probably don’t have someone constantly commenting on your posture, the way an elementary school teacher or parent may have done in the past. But sitting up straight and not slouching are arguably even more important when we’re grown. Sure,
having good posture looks better, but also, how we sit, stand and walk affect both our health and our moods. If you need a little help in the posture department, here are a few things you may want to try.
Test your posture and learn to stand properly
Before we even get into anything else, you should learn how to determine if you’re even standing properly.
Test your back and neck posture against a wall or check this illustration to find any areas you need to work on when standing. Become more aware of your feet when you’re standing and adjust your weight so it’s distributed evenly across both feet. Want to do some additional testing? These seven moves will test your basic mobility and core strength.
Do yoga or work on your core strength
sitting too long isn’t good for you. But when you do have to sit, make sure you’ve got a good chair that supports your back and is ergonomic for your workspace (more on that below). Sitting at a 135-degree angle could put less strain on your spine, but you’d have to adjust your workspace accordingly. If you don’t care to recline, check out this animated guide to sitting correctly.
Adjust your posture in every situation
Being aware of our posture at our desks is important, but we also need to pay attention in other situations. For instance, we need to sit up straight when driving (
adjusting your rear view mirror could help). Additionally, our posture when we’re sleeping, the type of pillow we use and the type of mattress we sleep on will affect how we hold ourselves during the day. If you have to work from bed, do it in a way that won’t wreck your posture. And in the kitchen, you might need to adjust the height of your counters to keep from hunching over.
Learn to breathe properly
How we breathe can deeply affect how we move and how we feel. Learn to breathe more effectively,
using your diaphragm, and try breathing exercises that focus on lengthening your spine and engaging your waist muscles and lower core muscles.
Use apps to improve your posture
Remembering to stand and sit properly is hard work, so thankfully there are apps to help us out.
Nekoze is a cute app that uses your Mac’s camera to keep an eye on your posture— a cat (icon) will warn you when you’re slouching. There are other posture trainers for iOS and Android, but if you’re not into apps using your camera, build your own posture sensor for your chair.
Hold your phone and tablet properly
Constantly craning your neck down to stare at our phones
isn’t helping. Try holding your phone straight in front of you instead of bending your head down, and similarly propping your tablet up perpendicular to the table if you’re just reading.
Fix your workstation
If you’re a desk jockey, you might get the most posture improvement from
setting up your workstation properly. Figure out the ideal desk height, whether sitting or standing, and keep your feet flat on the floor when sitting (an easy way to find the right seat high is to level it with your knees). Here’s our complete guide to setting up an ergonomic workspace.
Good posture involves training your body to be in the proper position, with the least amount of strain possible on your supporting muscles. In addition to these
ways to improve your posture, we’ve shared several simple exercises you can do to improve your posture:
Of course, if you have serious posture issues or pain, you’ll want to consult a doctor. But for most of us who just aren’t as well aligned as we should be, the tips above will hopefully help prevent pain and boost well-being.
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