Good posture is key for numerous reasons. It can help prevent back pain and other more serious health issues, it vastly improves confidence and employability, and it protects your ligaments so that they can operate at their best. Yet, it seems that more and more people these days are succumbing to poor posture, a fact reflected in the rising figures of back pain as reported by many doctors and researchers.
If that’s you, don’t worry. Here are four tips to help you fix poor posture:
Learn the correct technique
Isn’t the key to getting better posture just…standing up straighter? While the essence to good posture is to stand straight so that your spine is supported and stabilised and the rest of your body in alignment with itself, it’s a lot easier said than done. A first step might be to look at yourself in a mirror and see whether you are keeping your body in alignment and evenly distributing its weight between both feet.
A friend might be able to help you out here, and vice versa. It’s also wise to read up a few expert articles about spinal curvature so you know a bit about what you’re dealing with.
Sit further back in your chair
It’s a common habit you might not even notice. One moment you’re sitting with your back firmly against the panel of your seat, firm flatly on the ground, and back straight, the next moment, you’ve slouched forward, your legs are crossed, and your back is most definitely not straight. To avoid this problem, consciously try your best to sit with your bottom as far back in your chair as possible, using the backrest to help keep your back straight.
We spend something like seven to eight hours per day in a chair if we work in an office, so make sure you’ve got your posture right there.
A little reminder can go a long way
If all else fails, there’s nothing like a little reminder to help you remember to keep a good posture. This might be a post-it note on your computer screen or by the side of the desk, reminding you to sit up straighter in your chair. Or perhaps you might like to put a sticker on your car key chain, to remind you every time before you drive. Keeping a marble or coin in your pocket to remind you while you’re standing might also help. It might be silly, but nobody has to know, and soon they’ll see the difference!
Don’t be afraid to seek professional help
While there’s much to be gained from internet tutorials and self-help, in the end, it’s worth remembering that there are trained health professional who have been trained to deal with common posture and back pain issues. If you can’t seem to get rid of that slouch or just feel yourself in constant or intermittent back pain, it pays to take a visit to your GP or else a physiotherapist.
Who knows, there could be a more serious issue at hand that you’d want to get checked out sooner than later. Or else, you might just need a bit of a readjustment or some stretching exercises before you’ve got that perfect posture down pat!
Isabelle McKenna is a university student and freelance writer who is interested in health and fitness. She’s got plenty on her hands right now but doesn’t mind occasionally browsing job sites, even for things such as mining jobs in Queensland!