Hey there! Although we all know good posture plays a huge role in both our physical health and the way we feel. It doesn’t stop most of us slouching over our laptops or mobile phones which could have huge impact on our posture health.If you need some help with correcting yours, read on – as in this post, I’m sharing my 6 tips & tricks so that you can have a good posture for a life-long back health.
**IMAGE| All clothing from Sweaty Betty as part of a collaboration with them **
Juggling the stresses of everyday life it is no wonder that so many of us fall into the trap of hunching over and neglecting our posture. I know from first-hand experience how a poor posture can slow you down. In the end of April, I had chronic back pain where I couldn’t even get out of bed. My job as an interior stylist my job is very physical. And my back pain left me in so much pain, I couldn’t work for a few weeks and was living off pain killers! Not ideal at all.
I know this back pain was the direct result of my poor posture. I’ve suffered back pain on and off for you years – and I know the cure is by taking preventive steps and to have a good posture. What could I have done is take some simple steps to prevent it happening.
It’s never too late to improve your posture. That’s why today, I’m sharing my 6 tips and tricks so you have the perfect posture for life-long back health.
6 TIPS & TRICKS TO IMPROVE YOUR POSTURE
1. BECOME AWARE OF YOUR BACK
When going about our busy daily lives, we’re not usually thinking about what our bodies are doing are we? Never mind thinking about our backs. But to have a good posture, it’s important to become aware of how you carry yourself. Time to think about how your body feels.
While it might feel super comfy to slouch on the sofa (a habit I’m totally guilt of) the long-term effects could be painful. When you’re sitting on the sofa watching TV, think about how your posture is being affected by how you sit. Try adjusting your position to encourage better spinal alignment. Sit up a bit straighter, use cushions to support your back – and every 45 minuets make sure you get up and walk around so you don’t stiffen up.
In everyday life, try to become more aware of your posture with everything you do – from walking the dog, to picking the kids up, to doing the dishes, working from home or exercising – put your good posture at the top of your priority list.
2. TAKE UP CORE STRENGTHENING EXERCISES
One of the most important factors in supporting a good posture is ensuring you’ve got a strong core.
Your core is a complex of muscles, extending far beyond you abs or the so called ‘six pack’. Major muscles included are the pelvic floor muscles, transverses abdominis, multifidus, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, erector spinae and diaphragm (so I have heard!)
Taking up regular exercise to strengthen your core will help you to maintain a better posture for longer as you grow older. There are lots of videos on YouTube that will help you strength your core. I’m a huge fan of Yoga and Pilates both of which concentrate on helping your build strength in your core.
As well as carrying out your own workouts, try other core strengthening activities like swimming, weight training, cycling – all of which will help give you a good posture.
Good posture involves training your body to be in the proper position which can take a lot of time and effort. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t see immediate results. Incorporate at least one exercise a day to help you work towards a straighter back and you will begin to notice the effects with time and persistence. Even if it is a pelvic tilt which you wait at the bus stop for the No 23 (that’s what I do!)
3. SET UP A POSTURE FRIENDLY WORKSTATION
It is estimated that 81% of office or desk-based workers spend between 4-9 hours a day sitting at a desk. That equates to an average of 67 sedentary days every year. It’s no wonder that so many of us experience back problems when sitting at our desks.
The key is to set up your workstation so that it allows you to sit correctly without placing unnatural strain on your body.
- Elbows and knees should be at right angles, and the top of the monitor should line up nicely with your eyebrows. Try placing your laptop on books to get the right height.
- Always ensure that you have a supportive chair with lumbar and neck support, as this will help to remove some of the strain on your muscles during the day.
- Some people find that sitting on an exercise ball helps them to keep a straight back; however, you may need to work up towards this if you are unused to sitting like this for long periods.
- Invest in a large computer monitor so that your neck isn’t tilted at an uncomfortable angle.
- Put your phone away . Or at limit the use of it to 15 min at a time.
We spend so much time looking down at our phones that it is actually causing something known as Text Neck!!! The strain of repeatedly looking down for long periods causes all kinds of problems with the neck and shoulders, and in some cases can lead to long term damage.
Given that 79% of 18-44 year olds have their phones with them all the time, this is clearly something that needs to be addressed when rectifying posture. Try to hold your phone at eye level as much as possible, take frequent breaks from it, and become more aware of the strain it is causing on your neck.
4. IMPROVE SLEEPING POSTURE
And finally, it’s possible to work on your posture even when you are sleeping.
Ensure that you have a firm supportive mattress that promotes the correct spinal alignment and pillows that put your neck into a neutral position.
Old, saggy mattresses are unlikely to provide the correct support, so if you have had your mattress for longer than 5 years it may be time to replace it with an orthopaedic one.
6 TIPS & TRICKS TO IMPROVE YOUR POSTURE
There you go there are my 6 tips and tricks for a good posture for you. If you’re having problems with your back, simply work on your core strength, set up your workstation correctly, hold your phone at eye level, and most importantly of all, sleep on it.
I hope you have found these tips helpful. If you have any more to share, pop them in the comment box below.
** Always seek the advice of your doctor before any dramatic lifestyle changes.
Have a wonderful day.