Perfect posture lays the groundwork for any movements that affect your daily life. Perfecting your stance can help prevent all kinds of potential pain points, such as in your back, hips, neck and knees. It’s not only great for overall physical health, studies show that posture helps exude confidence and improves mental health as well.
After a full year of working from home in the face of COVID-19, many are suffering from poor posture––especially those who work from the couch or the dining room table. Perhaps it’s time to take a moment to re-examine your posture when both sitting and standing. If you need expert help, Work-Fit Total Therapy Centre is a full service rehabilitation clinic located in the Georgetown, Milton and Oakville Hospitals, providing exceptional service for over 30 years. The centre offers a state of the art gymnasium to maximize functional training, as well as work conditioning and hardening to improve pain spots (like sore backs!).
If you’re ready to start working on building up perfect posture, here are five healthy habits to instill:
- Don’t Slouch
Perhaps the number one culprit of poor posture is slouching. This adds additional stress to your spine and causes you to hunch, putting strain on your entire backbone from the bones, muscles and joints. But worse than that, sitting in a slouch at your desk all day can cause your internal organs to squish together, making your intestine and lungs work overtime. Eventually if you maintain poor posture, your digestive system could suffer, as well as your lungs––leading to long-term health problems. Instead, when sitting at your desk, focus on sitting tall with your shoulders back and relaxed, pull in your stomach muscles and keep your feet on the floor at a 90 degree angle to continuously improve your posture.
- Be Aware of Text Neck
In today’s modern world, it’s not uncommon for us to spend most of our day looking down at a screen. Whether it be typing away at your laptop or answering emails on your phone, constantly straining your spine to look down at your screen can cause your posture to suffer. To release this stress on your neck, ensure you are constantly raising your phone screen more towards eye level, so you’re not putting constant pressure on your backbone. To make your workspace more ergonomic, it’s best to have your laptop on an adjustable stand. Or better yet, invest in a standing desk to bring your screen directly to eye level.
- Skip Heels and Wear the Flats
One sneaky culprit likely affecting women's posture is wearing heels––especially those who wear them on a daily basis. Pumps and stilettos are notorious for pushing the base of your spine forward, which in turn over-arches the back. Over time, this reshapes the way in which the backbone lines up with your hips and puts pressure on your nerves––leading to a painful pinching sensation in the lower back. Heels also can do some serious damage to knee joints that could require surgery down the line. For day to day use, it’s better to wear a dressy sandal for work, or better yet, a shoe with an orthotic for optimal posture support.
- Pick the Right Mattress
You spend a third of your life in bed, so there is no excuse for skimping on a great mattress. Soft, saggy mattresses are one of the common reasons for poor posture. Yes, even when you are sleeping you should be taking into consideration the alignment of your spine. Back sleepers should skip the fluffy pillow and find one that keeps their spine as level as possible, while side sleeps should aspire to align the pillow so it’s level with the spine––while slightly tucking in their legs. Regardless of how you sleep, a slightly firm mattress that mimics the spine’s natural shape should always be the #1 priority for proper posture.
- Start a Yoga Practice
Any form of exercise helps you be mindful of form, but nothing quite calls attention to the way in which your body moves like yoga. The entire practice is focused on body awareness, with a strong emphasis on core exercises. Mindful movement can have a positive, long lasting effect on the muscles around your lower back, core and pelvis, which ultimately leads to improved posture and spine strength for years to come. Chances are you’ll quickly become more aware of your daily mobility and stop any poor posture habits right in their tracks.
To set up an appointment with a Work-Fit physiotherapist to review how you can further achieve perfect posture, kindly visit workfitphysiotherapy.ca or call us at 905.845.9540 to get in touch today.