Posture, Chances are Your Slouching Right Now…

Right now I bet you’re realizing how much you’re slouching since seeing the title of this post. I am too! Collectively, and it is so true, we all suck at maintaining good posture. But there are ways to fix and repair it. Believe it or not, it is all about awareness.

What is posture?

First, let’s determine what posture actually means. Posture is basically how you hold your body. The way you carry yourself physically. Most of us don’t even notice the habits that affect our posture. Some of us stand more on one foot, while others have a mean slouch at the kitchen table. Common factors that will affect your posture can be tightened muscles, obesity, weak postural muscles, pregnancy, and high heels.

There are 2 types of posture

Dynamic – How you hold yourself when you walk, run or bend.

Static – How you hold yourself when you are sitting, standing or sleeping. 

Static posture

Poor Posture 

So we all know what poor posture feels like (awful neck, back and shoulder pain!!) but what is actually going on? Well, what happens is, with our regular daily activities some muscles lengthen and get weak while others shorten and tighten. This combination of tightening and lengthening is what puts us in that pain. Pain is not the only reaction to poor posture, it actually affects the entire body. It can also lead to the following;

Constricted nerves 

Poor circulation

Curved spine

Decrease in lung function

Digestion issues

Misaligned spine

Face tension – due to jaw clenching 

Good Posture

Good posture involves being completely aware of how you position your body. Always position it in a way that puts the least amount of strain on your back. Here are a few things you can do to avoid poor posture:

Be aware when you slouch and straighten up.

If you sit at a desk have the right office chair that supports your neck and back. 

Text neck is legitimate and caused stiffness in the neck muscles.

Sleep in a way that does not force your back into a curled position. 

Exercise daily. Especially your abs – strong abdominals are able to hold the body up easier. 

Corrections – Sitting 

If you notice while you are sitting that your posture is worsening or your slouching – consider the following corrections

sitting posture

Switch sitting positions  

Do not cross your legs 

Relax your shoulders

Make sure your thighs and hips are well supported – I highly suggest added padding

Corrections – Standing

If you notice that your posture is worsening while you stand you can do the following to correct it quickly

Good standing posture

Keep shoulders back

Pull stomach in

Put weight on the balls of your feet 

Let your arms hang naturally at your sides

As I said above simply being aware of how you are physically carrying yourself is key. Do not try to overcorrect as you can end up with further injury to your back, neck, and shoulder muscles. As always talk to a doctor if you are in a lot of pain or the corrections above do not help. You may need physiotherapy or chiropractic work.

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