Many of us have noted that our posture may not be the best. We are constantly working at a desk, table, or on our bed using our computers or phones, reading, or completing homework. It can be hard to maintain good posture when you are used to having your back hunched. However, not putting any effort to straighten your back could possibly give you back pain in later years and many more difficulties. Self’s “Here’s How to Actually Have Good Posture (and Why You Should Care) mentions the U.S. National Library of Medicine says “[y]ou may also experience neck, shoulder, and back pain, decreased flexibility, less joint mobility, poor balance, bad digestion, and even difficulty breathing…” Working to improve your posture will help prevent yourself from developing these issues. Here are a few tips to help you fix your posture:
1. Do Back Exercises and Stretches Doing some back exercises and stretches daily or even a few times a week may help you keep your back straighter. One exercise that can help is Child’s Pose. In this position, you can start out on your knees and sit down with your legs folded underneath you. Then, bring your chest down to your knees with your arms stretched out in front of you like so:
Another exercise you can do is the forward fold. With this position, you start by standing up straight and then you fold yourself over your legs by bringing your chest as close to your knees as possible. You can reach your hands to the floor, your feet, or your ankles, wherever you are comfortable.
Using a stretch band to open up your chest is also a helpful way to improve posture. With this stretch, you hold either end of the stretch band in each hand, hold your arms up parallel to the ground, and begin to move your arms further from each other.
2. Adjust Your Sleeping Position How you sleep also affects your posture and adjusting your sleeping position can help improve your posture. When sleeping, you should avoid sleeping on your stomach because according to Cleveland Clinic’s “Back and Health Posture”, sleeping on your back “... can cause back strain and can be uncomfortable for your neck.” If you sleep on your side, you should place a pillow between your legs and if you sleep on your back, place a pillow under your back.
3. Straighten Your Sitting Position You may find yourself hunching often when sitting on a chair or on your bed. By making it a habit to sit straighter, you will be able to improve your posture. When sitting, try to keep your feet flat on the ground with your back straight and your shoulders relaxed. Try not to stay in the same position for too long and if possible, get up and stretch if you find yourself sitting for long periods of time throughout the day.
4. Note Your Posture in the Mirror Whenever you are in front of a mirror or you happen to pass by one, try observing your posture and see how straight you back has gotten or how hunched it is. This can be a way to monitor your progress as well as a reminder to straighten your back.
Fixing your posture will take time along with constant reminders as you may be used to having your back hunched and shoulders curled. However, it is important to make an effort and start developing some of these tips as habits. Developing some of these habits now will allow you to work on your posture and prevent yourself from having any back pain and other issues later in the future.