Good posture allows us to use our body’s optimal potential.
Good posture allows us to use our body’s optimal potential. When all the tissues are in good condition your physical and mental health is also in good condition. What is more, good posture preserves the longevity of the joints and bones. If you work long hours in the office or do heavy manual labor you spend a lot of time slouched at your workspace. This means that you run a high risk of adopting a poor posture. The good news is that you can start taking steps to fix it. Correcting your bad posture can improve your lifestyle. If you wonder what to do next, here is how to get started.
Be mindful of your posture
Posture has to do with the body’s orientation in space. The most common time to pay attention to our posture is while sitting. You should also pay attention to your posture at other times too. Britnell evaluates posture both statically (stationary) and dynamically (in motion ). Stationary posture positions include sitting and standing. We can argue, meanwhile, that dynamic include walking and sleeping. Here are some tips for maintaining a good posture for these.
Keep your back straight
1. When standing/walking:
Stand tall, keep head straight, not tilted
Keep shoulders at the same level
Leave arms hanging at the sides, palms facing down
Keep hips and knees at the same level, feet straight
Distribute body weight between heel and forefoot
2. When sitting:
Keep your back straight
Keep knees togetherKeep feet flat on the floor
Avoid sitting cross-legged
3. When sleeping:
Avoid sleeping on your stomach
Try to sleep using one pillow only
Keep the spine in proper alignment
Sleep on a medium-firm mattress
Get a posture corrector-
Posture correctors and posture braces are a hit on the market with a reason. They can help you build your new posture since they work as a reminder to straighten up. There are different models but the most common model targets the shoulders. Remember that a posture corrector should only help you build your good posture not do the work for you. You alone are responsible for holding and maintaining your proper posture.
Remember that a posture corrector should only help you build your good posture not do the work for you.
Give your office desk a makeover-
Poor posture is often cited as one of the leading lifestyle occupational diseases. In other words, it is an issue which stems from our work environment. Spending long hours in a single position at your job, like sitting, standing or doing manual work predisposes us to poor posture. If you work on an office desk you can switch your office desk for an active (sit-stand) workstation. You can also use a stability ball for an office chair. If you are a driver check the list for driving ergonomics tips by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health .
Check your shoes
Pick shoes you tend to wear on a daily basis and check for signs of wear. You will probably notice that some parts are more worn out than others. This may indicate different things worth looking into. We recommend picking comfortable shoes for your everyday activities. You can also place shoe inserts inside. High-heels exert extra pressure on the feet. This is why it is not recommended to wear them on a daily basis or for extended time periods.
Make some time for yoga or exercises
In good posture, muscle tension is distributed evenly among all muscle groups. Once this balance is distorted by slumping and poor posture, the workload is no longer distributed evenly. As a result, some muscles become tight and tense as they become overworked. Others become weak and sensitive as they work less. Doing yoga, special exercises or swimming helps reverse this damage. Be consistent, dedicated and patient with your body as it slowly readjusts to its proper functioning.
Fixing a bad posture and bad posture habits is a challenge, where you need to challenge yourself. It is also a rewarding journey to a healthier life, which will allow you to do more and stay fit for longer. Remember your journey can start now or at any time but the sooner you start, the sooner you will feel better. Worried about changing so much? Some of the changes we mentioned above require consistent work like finding time to exercise or keeping track of your posture progress. Others, however, you would need to implement once like changing your shoe wear or office space.
 Britnell, S.J., et al. 2005. Postural health in women: The role of physiotherapy. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, 27 (5), 493–500.
 Canadian Centre for Occupational Health - www[.]ccohs[.]ca/oshanswers/ergonomics/driving