Improving your posture in an important aspect of your body’s health and overall function. When you sit over long periods of time without proper posture, you can cause great stress on ligaments holding the joints of the spine together, not to mention abnormal wear and tear of joint surfaces.
Having good posture is not just a folktale to scare kids into sitting up straighter, it actually benefits your body long term.
Poor posture causes more than just physical stress, but mental, too. Not only does it affect your body’s natural alignment, but it can also cause great pain. The good news is, improving your posture is an easy fix, as long as you stay determined to make sure you’re sitting up straighter at work, or in class. Look at these simple fixes at how to improve your posture.
Why Improving Your Posture Is Critical
Chances are as you read this, you’re probably slouching in some way, shape or form. For those who spend the day sitting in an office chair, sitting at a desk, or in the classroom, we tend to slouch, shift, or sit awkwardly in order to find comfort in uncomfortable chairs. Human beings aren’t made to be sitting on their tailbones all day long, which is why focusing on posture is so important. However, first, it should be understood some of the benefits for improving posture to know why this should be an area of attention. Ways in which your health and body will benefit from a change in posture include:
- Reduced feelings of depression
- Increase in energy
- Increase in circulation
- Keeps bones in alignment
- Decrease the abnormal wearing of joints
- Reduce the risk of arthritis
- Prevents the spine from becoming fixed in awkward positions
- Prevents strains
- Reduced backaches or muscular issues
- Contributes to a great overall appearance
- Creates an optimal position for breathing.
Not only is having a great posture good for your health, but also can contribute to feeling great as well.
1. Find the Alignment Point
One of the best ways to improve your posture at work or in class is to start by finding your alignment point. Many people incorrectly assumed that great posture is a rigid posture, however, this isn’t the case. Having good posture and finding your alignment point involves training your body to sit in positions where the least amount of strain will be placed on ligaments, muscles and your spine. Proper posture techniques in the sitting position involve:
- Sitting with your back straight against the chair, shoulders back.
- Buttocks should touch the back of the chair.
- Weight should be distributed evenly on both hips.
- Bend knees at a right angle, slightly higher than the hips.
- Feet should be flat on the floor.
- Back curves should be present while sitting.
Your alignment point can be found by beginning in a slouch position at the end of your chair. Slowly sit back, accentuating the curve of your back as far as comfortable. Hold for a few moments. Then, release the position, only slightly, until you are sitting straight. Ears should be in line with your shoulders. This is a great alignment point.
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2. Make Sure To Stay Moving
It’s only natural that when we’re working or in school, we sit for long periods of time without getting up. Whether we get distracted or we’re invested in our work or a project, we forget about how important it is to get up and move. Even if it is only for a few moments to shake our your muscles and stretch your legs, getting up every 30 minutes should be a goal for you in order to help improve posture. Not only does this break the cycle of falling into a slouch position without realizing it, but it also gets you out of the same sitting position and rearranging your focus. If you can, try to set a clock or timer on your phone or computer to remind you to stand every 30 minutes. When you do—stand, shake it out, go grab some water from the water fountain, or just stretch your limbs. Then, find a comfortable seat back at your desk, but make sure to find your alignment point yet again.
3. Purchase Some Support
There are tons of products on the market nowadays that can help improve your posture while you sit at a desk. While some people might get the hang of the whole alignment thing pretty quickly, others might get distracted by a thousand other things running through their heads. However, regardless of which you are, there are products which can help. A few products you can purchase to help improve your posture, are:
- Height-Adjustable Standing Desk – Chiropractors and doctors alike agree that sitting for prolonged periods of time can wreak havoc on your neck and back. Standing causes much less stress. Which is why if you purchase a height adjustable desk you can go from sitting to standing multiple times a day and make sure to have a nice mix of posture.
- Lumbar Back Support Cushion – There are a wide variety of lumbar products you can purchase, many of which clock in under $20. Lumbar cushions help to maintain the natural inward curve of your lower back to reduce slouching or hunching over at a desk. This extra support guarantees that you will be sitting straighter.
- Support Strap Belts – Believe it or not, there are products which you can strap into and wear all day long. With adjustable straps and a comfortable design, you can strap yourself into this back posture trainer and find the perfect seated posture within seconds.
4. Uncross Your Legs
Crossing your legs at your desk, or while you’re sitting in general, is usually a no-no. The only correct way to sit in a chair with a nice posture is by placing both feet flat on the ground. Crossing your legs means that your body is shifted in one direction or the other, causing your back to be out of line. If you cross your legs often and find that placing your feet flat on the ground feels uncomfortable or foreign, then try instead to prop your feet up on something. Perhaps a small stand or footstool under your feet can help you to feel comfortable sitting without having to cross your legs.
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