Latus Health understands that certain postures can lead to a variety of health problems, including musculoskeletal disorders. However, with the right approach and commitment, it is possible to improve your posture and improve your overall health and well-being. In this article, we will provide more information and expand on the tips we previously mentioned for improve your posture.
“‘Correct’ posture is often seen as maintaining one set position, this is likely to be unhelpful and difficult to maintain during everyday life. ‘Correct’ posture should be the combination, awareness, and ability to experience multiple postures throughout the day, the body does not appreciate ‘good sitting posture’ it appreciates regular movement!” – Dan Clarke – MSK Advisor & Rehabilitation Specialist
Stretching is an essential component of maintaining good posture. It can help improve muscle flexibility and joint mobility. Consistency is key and can be achieved by incorporating stretching into your daily routine, especially before and after sitting for prolonged periods.
When stretching, focus on the areas that are most affected by poor posture, such as your chest, shoulders, neck, and lower back. Here are some stretches you can do:
Chest stretch: Stand in a doorway with your arms outstretched and hands resting on the door frame. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in your chest muscles.
Shoulder stretch: Bring your left arm across your chest and hold it with your right hand. Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Neck stretch: Slowly tilt your head to the right and hold for 15-30 seconds. Repeat on the left side.
Lower back stretch: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Gently pull your knees towards your chest until you feel a stretch in your lower back.
Our core muscles are involved in almost all our daily activities, aiding in movement, and supporting our spine. Here are some core exercises you can do:
Plank: Get into a push-up position and hold your body in a straight line from head to heels for 30-60 seconds.
Bridge: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Lift your hips off the ground until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
Abdominal crunches: Lie on your back with your knees bent and hands behind your head. Lift your head and shoulders off the ground and hold for 2-3 seconds before lowering back down.
Specific postural exercises below are beneficial in reducing the negative effects of sitting for long periods or sedentary roles.
Wall angels: Stand with your back against a wall and your arms at a 90-degree angle. Slowly raise your arms above your head and then lower them back down.
Seated rows: Sit on the edge of a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Hold a resistance band or weights in front of you and pull it towards your chest, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
Making ergonomic changes to your workspace can also help you maintain good posture. Here are some tips for making ergonomic changes to your workspace:
Adjust your chair: Make sure your feet are flat on the ground, and your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Your hips should be level with or slightly higher than your knees.
Adjust your desk: Make sure your desk is at the right height. Your elbows should be bent at a 90-degree angle when typing, and your wrists should be straight.
Adjust your computer screen: Position your screen so that the top of the screen is at or slightly below eye level.
Being mindful of your posture throughout the day can help you correct bad habits. Here are some tips for being more mindful of your posture:
Take breaks: Stand up and stretch every 30 minutes to an hour to give your body a break from sitting.
Check your posture: Throughout the day, check your posture and make sure you are sitting or standing correctly. You can even set reminders on your phone or computer to remind you to check your posture periodically.
Visualise your sitting posture: Take a few moments throughout the day to visualise what good posture looks and feels like. This can help you become more aware of your posture and make it easier to correct bad habits.
Incorporating these tips into your daily routine can help you change your sitting posture. However, it’s important to note that correcting your posture takes time and effort. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately. Consistency is key.
It’s also important to seek professional help if you’re experiencing pain or discomfort related to poor posture. An occupational health professional can assess your posture and provide personalized advice and exercises to help change unwanted postures.