It’s common to neglect proper posture until one Tuesday afternoon comes and you are barely able to sit erect because of backache. Other back abuses include carrying heavy weights, slouching, and incorrect execution of exercises.
Back abuse is so widespread that in 2014, about 1 in every 6 Australians suffered from a back problem, be it a joint, tissue, or muscle problem.
To prevent worse cases, the simplest favor you can do to yourself is to observe proper posture. The real question now is how and this article is crafted to answer exactly that.
1. Stand Up Whenever Possible
Sitting is comfortable, alright. But prolonged sitting causes serious damage not only to your weight, more importantly to your posture. So at work, school, or at home, find a reason to stand up every 30 minutes to an hour.
If this isn’t possible, then stand up during breaks. This gives you the opportunity to stretch and elongate your body. Cramps can also be avoided if you vary your position constantly.
2. Sit With Full Support
Choose your chair wisely. Always go for one with a back support as prolonged sitting can be tiresome and you may need a frame to lean your back on.
Moreover, when sitting, observe proper position. Your computer desk or basically your work desk has to be of proper alignment with your line of vision to avoid slouching.
Push your hips to the far end of the chair. Modify the height of your seat so your feet are flat on the floor and your knees are either in line with your hips or lower.
Drop your shoulders as you sit properly. To do so, you can recline your chair to about 100-110° angle, as well as adjust your armrests. Little you may know that observing good posture has a positive impact on work productivity.
3. Drink Supplements
Nourishing your skeletal system from within also helps you achieve a good posture. Drinking vitamin D supplement aids in muscle relaxation and posture improvement.
You may also bask in the morning sun so your skin generates higher amount of vitamin D. Other essential vitamins and minerals include protein, calcium, phosphorus, fluoride, magnesium, and potassium.
4. Exercise Right
Exercising enhances your posture. But the key here is to choose light exercises (e.g., climbing stairs, light-weight lifting, brisk walking, etc.) in order not to strain the muscles and compress your discs. Practicing your stance will significantly strengthen your posture’s stability in the long run.
5. Get into Yoga
Yoga and posture are good examples of exercises that build “the core” which refers to the muscle group covering your pelvic area and abdomen. The core is the primary support of an ideal posture, the reason why you must aim to strengthen it.
Practice yoga and feel the core muscle buildup. It’s a relatively cheaper and effective way to correct your other body misalignments.
You only need a mat and a good 15 minutes off your busy schedule. For the beginners, less complicated yoga poses are recommended, such as boat, plank, cat, and happy baby pose.
The advanced yogis can proceed to crow and four-limbed staff pose. Some poses may not be advisable for those who have previous injuries or other existing medical conditions.
An Australian study also proved that yoga practice imposes a positive effect on lifestyle choices that include lowered alcohol intake, decreased smoking, stress reduction, and increased exercise.
6. Use of Support Wear
There are available back posture braces that you can purchase online or through physical stores. To be sure, consult your physician for recommendation of brands, especially for those with existing medical conditions.
In choosing posture correctors, ensure that the brace is neither too tight nor too loose so as to achieve optimum results.
Some brands are designed to feel uncomfortable when you start to slouch or if there is any misalignment. This becomes your warning sign.
Technology has also become more advanced these days since mouth guards, such as those equipped with the ARC (alignment repositioning cushion) technology, that optimise your lower jaw’s alignment.
Note that there are about 68 muscle pairs around the lower jaw that overall define the alignment of your neck, head, and shoulders. You may want to consider this option.
While all of the above recommendations are proven to contribute to posture improvement, you are still to consult with your physician for safety reasons. Otherwise, you may end up with worse problems than before.