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9 Ways You Can Fix Poor Posture for Good

young woman modern office back painWhat’s one of the first things you notice about others? Maybe it’s their eyes, their smile, or their hairstyle. You may also notice nonverbal cues like body language, which can often have the strongest effects on your first impression. The way you carry yourself can convey a lot, and people can form an opinion of you as fast as one-tenth of a second (or less). Having and maintaining good posture is important for physical, psychological, and societal reasons. If you struggle with your posture, it’s not too late – here’s how you can fix your poor posture!

What Is Posture?

How you hold your body while you stand, sit, or lie down is your posture. Good posture is a continuous work in progress and involves not just maintaining but also increasing the natural curves of your spine throughout your body. Our everyday activities and motions can affect our musculoskeletal system, and – in time – can lead to pain and even permanent damage, if left unchecked.

Why Good Posture Is So Important

Most of us have been reprimanded for slouching in school, but not many of us were taught why we should sit or stand up straight. Maintaining proper posture is so vital to our bodies and minds. It helps the blood flow properly throughout the body and keeps your nerves and blood vessels healthy. It ensures that your muscles and bones are growing in the healthiest way possible. It allows us to breathe more openly, which does wonders for the body. Physical pluses aside, good posture also energizes us and increases our self-confidence. Take a moment right now to sit or stand up straighter. Don’t you feel more powerful, like you could take on nearly any challenge thrown at you? That’s the magic of proper posture, which is just one fantastic reason you should work toward amending your slouching habits.

The Dangers of Poor Posture

While you might think that slumping over your desk is no big deal, your body and mental health are paying the price. Any misalignment can put undue pressure and strain on your body, which can lead to the following:

  • Headaches
  • Back, neck, shoulder, and muscular pain
  • Fatigue, even when you’re sitting
  • Decreased flexibility
  • Incontinence and constipation
  • Excessive strain on postural muscles, leading to injury
  • Impaired circulation
  • “Pinched,” irritated nerves
  • Insufficient lung capacity

How You Can Improve Your Posture

These days we’re hunching more than ever. With many improvising their work-from-home workstations, maintaining a good posture can be tough work (especially when you’re constantly in virtual meetings). Resist the dreaded “Zoom hunch” and right your posture with these helpful ergonomic tips:

  • Adjust your working environment. Take a look at your setup at work. Do you find yourself hunching because of your chair, desk, or monitor? Choose a comfortable, ergonomic chair, keep your feet planted on the floor, and elevate your monitor so that the top of the screen sits at (or just below) eye level.
  • Be smart when using your phone. We all could be doing better when it comes to looking at our smart devices. Looking down at your phone or tablet puts a lot of unnecessary strain on the neck muscles. Instead, try keeping your device at eye level, and take frequent breaks.
  • Invest in good shoes. It’s true – even our shoes can affect our posture! High heels and flat-soled shoes can worsen poor posture and lead to back problems. Wear properly-fitting shoes with ample arch support and plenty of wiggle room in the toe box to keep your feet – and your spine – happy.
  • Lift the right way. Lifting objects incorrectly – even if it’s something light – can cause a serious injury. Never lift with your back muscles; use your legs instead. To do this, crouch down and lift the object with your arm and leg muscles.
  • Lighten the load. Do you often find yourself carrying heavy backpacks or purses? Go through your bag and unload what you don’t need. Invest in lighter, more ergonomic bags to take the pressure off your shoulders and spine.
  • Move more. Prolonged sitting can do a number on your health and posture. Get up and move around every 20 minutes throughout the day. Remember to include exercise sessions of at least 30 minutes during most days of the week to keep your muscles strong as well!
  • Stretch often. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good stretch. Stretch your limbs frequently every day and try these stretches to continue improving your posture!
  • Keep practicing. You won’t get perfect posture overnight. You’ll need to retrain your muscles to help them learn the right way to hold your body. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but if you remain aware of your posture and keep practicing, it’ll feel effortless in no time!
  • Make an appointment with your chiropractor. He or she will be able to help you by showing you how to maintain stellar spinal health and giving you the right exercises to strengthen your core postural muscles.

Better Posture Starts at The Wellness Connection

If you want to begin standing taller and feeling better, trust The Wellness Connection. We use the most modern chiropractic, analytical, and adjustive procedures and equipment available. Our experts will listen to your concerns and will help set you on the path toward optimized health. Call us today at (636) 978-0970 or make an appointment with us online!

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