Maintaining the proper posture has more benefits than you may think and ironically, relatively few of us can appreciate the correct techniques. Poor posture can result in lower levels of flexibility, a decreased range of motion, improper balance, and an increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as lower back pain. Whether the result of bad habits or other issues such as weak core muscles, the fact of the matter is that there are a number of steps which can be taken if you wish to improve your posture and increase mobility. Let us therefore take a look at some professional recommendations.
Tips When Sitting Down
Many individuals are forced to sit for long periods of time every day (such as those who work within an office environment). If you do not adopt the correct seated position, long-term posture problems are virtually inevitable. Here are a handful of physical habits to incorporate into your daily routine:
- Try not to cross your knees or ankles. Instead, keep both feet firmly planted on the floor.
- Relax your shoulders and avoid hunching forward when typing or on the phone.
- Create a 90-degree angle between your elbows and forearms when seated.
- Use a cushion or a similar support system if the chair is unable to support your lower back.
- Look straight forward in order to avoid placing excess strain upon your neck.
Taking short breaks is also a wise policy to adopt. Ideally, try to stand up and walk around at least ten minutes every hour.
There are additional suggestions if you wish to remain comfortable within the workplace. For example, use a hands-free telephone in order to reduce neck strain. Opt for a standing desk if sitting causes a significant amount of discomfort. Make certain that you have an ergonomic chair and keep accessories such as keyboards and mouses within close proximity so that you are not overextending your reach.
When Standing and Walking
Maintaining the proper posture is just as important when not seated. The good news is that many of the same principles alloy. Be sure that you distribute your body weight evenly (so that one leg does not favour the other). Once again, make certain that your shoulders are even and not inadvertently hunched forward. Keep your chin parallel to the floor and do not arch your spine in an unnatural manner.
There are also many exercises which can be used to help you obtain the proper posture. Those which focus upon the abdominal region will strengthen your core muscles over time; providing your lower back with additional support. It is also wise to watch yourself in a mirror when performing any balance-related exercises, as you will be able to tell if your posture is correct. Much like any habit, good posture will require both patience and commitment.