Good posture has a whole range of long term health benefits – from reducing undue wear and tear on joints and ligaments to preventing debilitating back pain and structural abnormalities and promoting overall mobility and body confidence. Here are our six tips for great posture whatever your age or athletic ability…
ENGAGE your core : A strong core provides a solid foundation for good posture. Include exercises like planks, bridges, and Pilates in your fitness routine to strengthen your abdominal and back muscles. A strong core will help you maintain proper alignment and support your spine.
STRETCH everyday : Tight muscles can contribute to poor posture and associated pain. Incorporate regular stretching into your daily routine to improve flexibility and alleviate muscle tension. Focus on stretching your chest, shoulders, neck, and hip flexors to counteract the effects of sitting for extended periods. It doesn’t have to take long – just some simple exercises before you sleep or after you wake up.
Stand and sit TALL : Before you even think about exercises, get in the habit of healthful sitting and standing. When sitting, keep your back straight and your shoulders relaxed. Avoid crossing your legs or hunching over your desk for extended periods. Similarly, when standing try and remember to distribute your weight evenly on both feet, engage your core muscles, and roll your shoulders back.
Move MINDFULLY : Incorporate activities like yoga, Pilates, and Xi Gong into your life, all of which encourage body awareness, balance, and proper alignment all of which help improve and maintain good posture.
Be AWARE of device use : Excessive use of smartphones and other devices like laptops and tablets can negatively impact posture as we tend to hunch over our screens. Try to avoid craning your neck forward like a tortoise and take regular breaks to stretch and change position when using devices for extended periods.
Create an ERGONOMIC work environment : Adjust your chair, desk, and computer screen to promote proper alignment. Your chair should offer good lumbar support – or choose an ergonomic chair where your weight is carried by knees and bottom, encouraging your spine to be straight. The top of your computer screen should be at eye level. Using a standing desk regularly can be a big benefit.