You’ve probably heard that good posture is essential for good health. It’s true that poor posture can lead to issues involving your bones and muscles.
Fortunately, you can take steps to improve your posture, and in turn, your overall health. It will take some time and practice to make these changes, but the way you look and feel will make it worth it in the long run.
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Here is everything you need to know about having the best posture you can. You’ll start to notice that you have less strain on your ligaments and tendons and that everyday activities are easier and more comfortable.
You’ll also start to notice when your posture may be backsliding to previous bad habits so you can make immediate adjustments to fix things. Your doctor is a valuable tool for helping you get things where they need to be.
Good Posture While Sitting Down
Posture involves more than just standing up straight. You also need to employ good posture when you’re sitting down. There are several ways to do this. The American Chiropractic Association recommends keeping your feet on the floor anytime you’re sitting instead of propping them up on a footrest or other piece of furniture.
At the same time, you should avoid crossing your knees and should keep your ankles in front of your knees. Your knees should also be below the level of your hips. Adjust your backrest so it supports you at mid to low level. You should also keep your shoulders relaxed.
Finally, sitting in the same position for too long can interfere with good posture, so it’s recommended that you change things up as often as you can.
Good Posture While Standing Up
You’ve probably heard someone being told to stand up straight or you’ve been told that yourself. It turns out that is very sound advice that you should follow at all times. The American Chiropractic Association encourages you to keep your knees slightly bent and the majority of your body weight resting on the balls of your feet anytime you are standing still.
At the same time, it’s best to stand with your feet shoulder width apart, your arms hanging naturally at your sides and your shoulders pulled back so that you are standing straight and tall. Shift your weight around as necessary if you have to stand for long periods of time. You should also keep your head level and tuck your stomach in to offer additional support.
Good Posture While Lying Down
Many people are surprised to find that lying down improperly can affect your posture nearly as much as how you sit or stand. To start, you need a firm mattress and at least one pillow. Skipping the pillow is bad for your posture, and a saggy mattress has similar negative effects.
For most people, sleeping on your side is recommended over your back or stomach. You can place a pillow between your knees while you sleep for additional support. If you do sleep on your back, place a pillow behind your knees, recommends the American Chiropractic Association.
Changing your posture won’t happen overnight, but knowing the negative consequences if you let things go can help motivate you to make the changes necessary for good posture. Bad posture can interfere with appropriate bone and muscle movement and placement, which increases your risk of incurring an injury, both during normal daily tasks and while you exercise.
Poor posture can be caused by obesity, high-heeled shoes, emotional issues, stress and a variety of other factors. By having those issues treated, you can set the stage for improving your posture.
Most people can’t do that alone and must receive help. Talk to your doctor about changes you can make and how you can be assisted in making those changes.
In the meantime, use the steps outlined above to start making a habit of sitting, standing and lying in such a way that you improve your posture. Make the necessary changes at home and work to help you in the process. This might mean getting new furniture, posting reminders around the house or setting alarms to remind you to check your posture.
These simple measures can help you be successful in your endeavor. It also pays to see a chiropractor to assess your bones and to find out if you have any structural issues that may be affecting your posture. Remember – good posture is well worth the effort, so today is the day to get started on improving yours.