How Do I Fix My Bad Posture?
By Savanna Stone //
Teenagers have it, old people have it, celebrities have it, depressed cartoon characters have it, sometimes even dogs have it. Bad posture is like the plague: it sneaks up on you, it’s contagious, it causes your pain, and by the time you know what it is, it kills you. Or at least it seems that way with bad posture. But the truth is, you can fix poor posture. It just takes a long time and a lot of dedication and a lot of patience. I’m here to tell you how to fix your bad posture because I don’t want you to have any more pain than you have to to survive. Fix your posture, unless you want to keep looking like the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Why do I even need good posture?1
Who cares right? Wrong. Your body cares. When you let yourself have bad posture2, your core muscles become weak. When that happens, your other muscles compensate for your weak core, leading to neck and shoulder tension, pain, injury, digestion issues, breathing difficulties, fatigue, restricted movement, headaches, and joint problems. Good posture keeps bones and joints in the right alignment and decreases your chances of abnormal wearing of ligaments and tendons. Poor posture increases your chances of degenerative arthritis and joint pain. Good posture reduces the stress on spinal joints and minimizes the chances of injury. Poor posture increases stress and tension. Good posture allows muscles to work like they are supposed to (more efficiently), which prevents muscle fatigue. Poor posture causes fatigue. Good posture helps prevent muscle strain, overuse, and pain. Poor posture causes muscle strain, overuse, and pain. Good posture protects you from having a bad back. Are you convinced yet?
How do I fix my posture?
Be more aware of your incorrect posture. The first step to fix your poor posture is to be conscious of it at all times. The hard part is, having poor posture is like being addicted to a drug and the more you do it the harder it is to stop and the more you don’t want to stop. So just know, poor posture is bad, just like drugs are bad. Once you’re aware that you’re slouching, imagine a balloon inside of you, lifting you from the earth. Thinking about being light will help you get over the pain that comes when you first start trying to have good posture again.
Adjust your work desk and chair to the proper height. If you have to lean over your desk, the height of your chair might be too high. Adjust it so you don’t have to slouch over your desk. Make sure your chair has good lumbar support. And remember, leaning back at a 1353 degree angle puts less strain on your back than leaning forward at a 70 degree angle or sitting at a 90 degree angle.
Learn to be flexible. Stretching will help relieve points of discomfort caused by bad posture and will make it easier for you to reeducate your back into the right position. When we have poor posture, our muscles become extra tight. Stretching will loosen up your body and get you ready to perform strengthening exercises and keep better posture for longer.
Strengthen your core. The stronger your muscles are, the easier it is to maintain good posture. Your core isn’t just your abs. It is also the muscles in your back that help keep your spine straight. Try planking. Time yourself to see how long you can last.
Don’t look down at your phone all day. Over a long period of time, looking down to text or scroll on Instagram will put strain on your back and neck. Lift your phone up while you browse to save your posture and to save you from back and neck pain.
Don’t recline your car chair. Keep your seat as far forward as you can so that you don’t slouch into your steering wheel. It’s the little things like this that really make a difference in the end.
Don’t wear heels if you don’t have to. Heels push the base of your spine forward, which causes your back to over-arch. This is one reason why you can’t wait to take off those stilettos when you get home at the end of the night.
Do posture correcting exercises. There are a lot of different posture correcting exercises. Most of them involve moving in the opposite direction that your bad posture is forcing you to move. If you have a hunchback, do the yoga cat and cow pose. If you stick your butt out too much, tilt your pelvis backward and forward for posture correction. These exercises stretch your muscles back into their original place.
Take breaks. Take breaks at work to get up and move around or to sit down if you’ve been standing for a long time. Use the Chirp Wheel+ to open up your chest and reverse the damage from slouching.
With practice and patience you can have the posture of an angel.