Many people have poor posture or it could use some improvement. It’s something to be aware of, yet many don’t act to change it. Why should posture be taken seriously and what affect can it have on health? The American Posture Institute claims recent research shows cognitive development in children, repertory restriction, and negative emotional issues have all been effected by poor posture.
In order to correct poor posture, recognizing the symptoms, is fundamental to the solution. The following list identifies common mistakes people make, which may lead to incorrect posture:
- Sticking buttocks out
- Slouching whilst standing or sitting
- Text neck – frequently looking down at your phone
- Rounded shoulders
- Sticking chin out
- Standing leaning weight on one side
Give This A Try
Not realizing bad posture is present can result in bad habits which may lead to health problems. Try the following methods to correct posture habits and if this doesn’t work, then contacting a doctor, physical therapist, or chiropractor may be necessary:
- Sticking buttocks out may cause hyperlordosis which is an over curved lower spine. Sometimes caused by pregnancy or heavy weight around the stomach. Strengthening the core muscles with Pilates exercises are recommended. (Visit a class to ensure exercises are done correctly).
- If slouching whilst standing, imagine something connecting the top of the head to the ceiling and pulling upwards. Keep the shoulders parallel to the hips, and down. Pull in the stomach and keep feet equal amounts apart ensuring the body weight is evenly distributed. Keeping the head straight and legs straight, will also help body alignment.
- Hunching over to text or type can lead to a week upper back and stiffness. Exercises to strengthen these weakened muscles, include tucking in your chin to increase neck muscles, Pull-ups and the plank as well as pulling in stomach to regain a natural curve.
- Rounded shoulders are caused by prolonged bad posture which has led to weakened muscles in the back. Strengthening the core with Pilate exercises is ideal. Using the rower at the gym or doing the bridge pose will help (Yoga is great for bridge pose exercises).
- Sticking the chin out maybe a simple as correcting an office chair. Seats in front of computers are frequently too low, leading to a hunch back. Higher the office chair, elongate the neck, pull shoulder blades back and pull in stomach muscles to regain the natural curve.
- Leaning weight onto the one side can make a person feel comfortable so a habit is easily made. Unfortunately, this can lead to an imbalance in muscle groups with one side being stronger than the other. Very common in women who have been carrying toddlers on their hip, or someone carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder.
- Bridge exercises are great for distributing muscle strength as well as lateral pelvic leg raises. Lateral pelvic leg raises may be done at home. An example of this is, lying on the front with forehead resting on hands and legs on the floor. Lifting one leg up and down, whilst keeping stomach and buttocks tight and not lifting the hip off the floor. Repeat 12 times then switch legs.
It’s Not Too Late
A clinical review in the British Medical Journal, gives examples of how history, body build, accidents, disease, and confidence may all result in posture being changed. An historical example of this is the tight corsets women wore in the 17th century, which narrowed their natural waste drastically and changed their posture. A disease which may give poor posture would be Osteoporosis. Poor nutrition and vitamin deficiency may also have a bad influence on the spine.
What ever the reason for poor posture, it may not be too late to change it. If, after time, the exercises suggested have little to no improvement on posture, please visit a doctor for further instruction. Posture is important from a health prospective as well as improving self confidence, so next time when sloughing, sit up straight and correct the posture.
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