In the past, whenever I’ve heard someone say that posture is important, or that you can do damage if you don’t sit or stand correctly I didn’t quite pay attention to the importance of it. There is nothing worse than hearing: “Stand up straight, or ”sit properly”, and “stop slouching!”
However sometimes it can’t be helped.
I did assume, like many others generally do, that I was just being nagged at — that it wasn’t a “big deal.” Oh, how I was wrong! I have learned that is this anything but the case.
What surprised me is that posture is one of the biggest causes of shoulder and neck pain today….And when you realize just how easy it can be to rectify, it’ll blow your mind to think, “why don’t more people understand the importance of ‘good posture’.”
NOT too surprising, the increased use of cell phones, laptops and tablets have massively contributed to this problem. Most of the time, people put themselves in less than ideal positions to use their devices. All you have to do is look around a restaurant and see most people looking down, slouched over and swiping away on their phones. This typically puts undue stress on the muscles in the back of the neck and upper back, including those muscles that keep your shoulder blades pulled back and stable. This prolonged stressful posture, over time, weakens muscles, increases tension in the neck and jaw regions, and can cause eye straining and headaches. Have you noticed ANY of these things?? We like to call it “computer neck” around here, and we see it too often.
This ‘bad posture’ can be easily corrected with simple exercise and activities, but typically it is not a ‘quick” fix, but does take some time and effort, which in the long run is well worth it!!
Here are a few quick tips to help you spot your “bad posture” and ways to improve on it.
Look at yourself in the mirror. (Remember there can be signs of poor posture before pain even occurs, so if you can spot the signs early, it is often easier to fix.)
Signs of poor posture include:
- Slumped or rounded shoulders
- Protruding abdomen
- An excessive curve in your lower back
- A caved appearance to the chest
- And the one people usually notice last- Pain
Now to improve your standing and walking posture “Think tall”, imagine a wire being pulled from the top of your head pulling you upward.
Another great tip I use myself, is practice tightening your abdominal muscles and flattening your stomach. Hold it for a few seconds, then relax, repeat this throughout the day.
When standing for long duration, people tend to rest their weight predominantly on one foot. Try instead standing evenly balanced on both feet and if this proves tiring, then shift the weight from one foot to another regularly.
One of the most common causes of poor posture is desk work, on computers for long periods of time, which puts the back and shoulders into an unnatural position.
Try and take a break every 30 minutes and stand up during this break.
When sitting at a desk, lean forward at your hips, bringing your trunk forward, instead of bending at the waist or neck and try to keep your lower back pressed against the support of the chair. This should really help improve you posture and prevent and problems from surfacing.
If you have any more questions about the importance of posture, with shoulder and neck pain just ask and I’ll be more than happy to help.
Just remember…. “Think Tall.”
PS–IF you are having neck issues, PLEASE Click HERE for my free report.
PPS–IF you need a FREE Discovery Visit with a Specialist Physical Therapist: Click HERE