Top Tips for correct posture
We are spending more and more time sat at electronic devices or hunched over mobile devices on the go. There is a steady increase in the number of children presenting with back and neck problems. Is this just coincidence or related to the current addiction to electronic devices? Postural education and awareness is important for everybody, at the workplace, in schools and now even on the go!
Correcting your posture may feel awkward at first because your body has become so used to sitting and standing in a particular way. You will need to retrain your body to sit and stand correctly. Initially, this may require a bit of conscious effort, but with practice good posture will become second nature and allow you to get the best out of your body and keep it working for you for many years to come.
Good posture helps us stand, walk, sit, and lie in positions that place the least strain on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement and weight-bearing activities. Therefore preventing aches and strains.
What is correct posture?
Helps keep bones and joints in correct alignment so that our muscles are used correctly, decreasing the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in degenerative arthritis and joint pain
Reduces the stress on the ligaments holding the spinal joints together, minimizing the likelihood of injury
Allows muscles to work more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energy and, therefore, preventing muscle fatigue
Helps prevent muscle strain, overuse disorders, and even back and muscular pain.
Several factors can contribute to poor posture-most commonly, stress, obesity, pregnancy, weak postural muscles, abnormally tight muscles, and high-heeled shoes. In addition, decreased flexibility, a poor work environment, incorrect working posture, and unhealthy sitting and standing habits can also contribute to poor body positioning.
How do I sit properly?
Keep your feet on the floor or on a footrest, if they don’t reach the floor
Don’t cross your legs. Your ankles should be in front of your knees
Keep a small gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat
Your knees should be at or below the level of your hips
Adjust the backrest of your chair to support your low- and mid-back or use a back support
Relax your shoulders and keep your forearms parallel to the ground
Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time.
How do I stand properly?
Bear your weight primarily on the balls of your feet
Don’t lock back your knees past midline
Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart
Let your arms hang naturally down the sides of the body
Stand straight and tall with your shoulders pulled backward
Tuck your stomach in
Keep your head level-your earlobes should be in line with your shoulders. Do not push your head forward, backward, or to the side
What is the proper lying position?
Find the mattress that is right for you. While a firm mattress is generally recommended, some people find that softer mattresses reduce their back pain. Your comfort is important
Sleep with a pillow. Special pillows are available to help with postural problems resulting from a poor sleeping position
Avoid sleeping on your stomach
Sleeping on your side or back is more often helpful for back pain
If you sleep on your side, place a pillow between your legs
If you sleep on your back, keep a pillow under your knees.
Poking your chin:
Many people poke their chin forward to look up at a computer screen or TV when sitting without realising it. The poking chin posture can be caused by sitting too low, a screen set too high, a hunched back or a combination of all three. An unsupported lower back or a hunched upper back both encourage the neck to lean and tip the head downward. To compensate for this downward pressure, we lift the chin to look forward without straightening the back.
How to correct a poking chin:
Gently lengthen your neck upwards as you tuck in your chin
Bring your shoulder blades back towards your spine
Pull in your lower tummy muscles to maintain a natural curve in your lower back
Hunched back or ‘text neck’
If you spend several hours a day working on a computer, you may unconsciously find yourself adopting poor postural habits, such as hunching over your keyboard. This position is usually a sign that you have a tight chest and a weak upper back. This position can lead to a tight chest and a weak upper back. Over time, this type of posture can contribute to you developing a rounded upper back, which can cause shoulder and upper back stiffness.
When hunching over a computer, your head may tend to lean forward, which can lead to poor posture. Mobile device usage can also encourage you to hang your head and can cause similar problems dubbed “text neck”.
Exercises to correct a hunched back:
Upper back, neck and rear shoulder strengthening exercises, chest stretches and neck posture drills are recommended to help correct a hunched bac for more information and advice.