Here at Body Align, we believe that alignment is vital to well-being. What helps us to achieve alignment in our body? Proper posture.
We’ve all heard it. Mostly from our parents, “Sit up right” or, “Don’t slouch”. Usually and especially as children, we tend to dismiss the cue and return to our slouching ways once no one’s paying attention. It’s not until we get older that we realize the deep importance of good posture.
Right now, are you sinking into your seat as you read this?
Throughout the years, most people develop poor sitting habits from years of sitting in improperly designed chairs. Car seats, school chairs, airplane seats – how often do we feel truly comfortable in these? We figure we can simply switch back to a good posture whenever needed. However, after a few years, we also begin to recognize the value of maintaining a good posture at all times.
The good news is, through awareness and education we can learn to honor proper posture with ease.
So aside from sitting upright in our chairs.. What is good posture?
Posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity while standing, sitting or lying down.
Good posture means your bones are properly aligned and your muscles, joints and ligaments can work as nature intended. Achieving this involves training your body to stand, walk, sit and lie in positions where the least strain is placed on supporting. This way your vital organs are in the right position and can function at peak efficiency. Good posture helps contribute to the normal functioning of the nervous system.
Considering this, it’s worth taking the time, energy, and awareness to work on proper posture so that we can maintain good neck, back, and shoulder health throughout our lifetime.
How can we achieve this?
1. Start Now!
Bring awareness to how you are currently positioned and set a reminder to check back in with yourself throughout the day. This will help to train your mind and body to improve habits leading to better posture.
2. Envision a String Pulling From Your Head
This may sound weird but it’s effective! Pretend that your spine and head are held up by a string from the ceiling. Focus on keeping your spine and head aligned with the string while relaxing other parts of your body.
3. Sit at the Front Edge of Your Chair
Most of us are used to positioning ourselves towards the middle or backs of our chairs which may work if you are positioned upright. However, if you are on the computer, writing, drawing, painting, etc. as you are positioned at the end of the chair then you are most likely leaning or hunching forward which strains your posture. Sit at the front and notice how it naturally sets you up for a more upright posture. Also, if you sit for long times throughout your day, consider investing in a back cushion to help support and maintain good alignment.
4. Strengthen Your Back
Research exercises that help to strengthen back muscles.
This doesn’t require weights and there are an abundance of resources online. You can do something as low impact as yoga or go for a more high impact option with machines at the gym.
5. See a Professional
This can include getting regular massages or visiting a chiropractor. If you’ve had a long history of bad posture, you will find that it’s hard to change your posture due to the hardening of your joints. Getting a massage loosens up your joints, which makes it easier to get into a better posture afterward. Be sure to hydrate extra during these times!
A chiropractic doctor can assist you with proper posture, including recommending exercises to strengthen your core postural muscles. He or she can also assist you with choosing proper postures during your activities, helping reduce your risk of injury.
Please keep in mind, long-standing postural problems will typically take longer to address than short-lived ones, as often the joints have adapted to your long-standing poor posture. Conscious awareness of your own posture and knowing what posture is correct will help you correct yourself. With much practice, the correct posture for standing, sitting, and lying down will gradually replace your old posture. This, in turn, will help you move toward a better and healthier body position.
So, how’s your posture now?
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