Posted on Jun 06, 2023, 11 a.m.
Poor posture results from daily habits, such as looking down at a smartphone or frequently carrying heavy objects. While one may disregard their posture issues as harmless or think it’s too late to correct them, experts say otherwise. Improper posture’s consequences include an increased risk of falling as your center of gravity goes forward, frequent neck pain, and trouble walking and breathing.
Fortunately, these consequences can be avoided by addressing the different causes of one’s posture. In the long run, improving posture results in better spinal health, preventing posture-related issues as a person ages. With that said, here are some ways to address several roots of bad posture:
Everyday work setup
One of the most common causes of bad posture is work. Many jobs require sitting at a desk to work on a computer, assemble parts, or answer calls, resulting in a hunched posture.
To address this problem, there are several exercise routines for professionals who sit all day. These promote movement during work hours, helping alleviate posture problems. A seated exercise that one can do is “Rock the Boat,” which involves straightening the back and shifting body weight to one side while lifting the opposite foot off the floor. This strengthens the core muscles, supporting better posture. Meanwhile, chest stretches can be done while standing. It includes stretching the arms forward and interlacing the fingers while turning the torso from side to side. This opens up the chest, stabilizing the spine. Such exercises are convenient because they can be performed during quick breaks.
Using technology for a long time
Using gadgets is an everyday occurrence for many. Whether using a smartphone, tablet, or gaming console, one cannot help but look down or hunch forward to get closer to the screen.
Our article “Using Ergonomics To Reduce Pain From Technology Use” outlines how this is especially prevalent among college students who use multiple devices to complete their schoolwork. An effective way to address this is by incorporating ergonomics with technology use. This can include using an ergonomic chair that supports the back and pelvis when sitting for long periods reading on a tablet or playing video games. Another is lumbar support or back braces that can be worn to encourage proper posture while sitting and scrolling on the phone.
Poor sleeping position
A person’s sleeping position is another potential cause of poor posture. Some wake up with a sore back due to sleeping on their stomach. This puts pressure on the spine, flattening its natural curve.
Aside from switching to better sleeping positions—like sleeping on the back— it is recommended to do morning stretches to relieve pain and prevent it from causing worse posture. The knees-to-chest stretch is one example, where one lies on their back and hugs their knees to their chest. This promotes blood circulation and decreases pressure on the spine for reduced pain and better posture. Stretches like these are quick ways to refine your posture before starting the day.
Choice of footwear
It may come as a surprise, but a person’s shoes play a role in their posture. For instance, shoes without proper arch support prevent appropriate weight and pressure distribution, affecting the back—and, therefore—a person’s posture. There are also shoes that make the foot contort into awkward positions, like high heels. This places weight on the balls of the feet, shifting one’s center of gravity.
This is why it’s better to choose shoes that have fastening mechanisms so they can be adjusted for comfort, proper arch support, and a cushioned insole. One can also consider buying orthopedic insoles to insert in their existing shoes to properly support the balls and heels of the feet.
Addressing bad posture reduces pain and the development of serious back issues as one gets older. Remember to practice the tips above to ensure proper posture during everyday activities.
This article was written for WHN by Ruth Ann John who is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about health, wellness, and sustainability. When she’s not typing away at her keyboard, you can find her completing an oil painting or doing DIY projects
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.
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