Nowadays, the average person’s health concerns are more likely to centre around those that may not be immediately obvious, i.e. internal issues. Diabetes, heart disease and cancer are amongst the most common health issues, but most of the time you wouldn’t notice it with the naked eye, and would only react if something felt off on the inside. Bad posture on the other hand is a lot more obvious and can also be one of the most difficult and time consuming to rectify.
Bad posture can be caused by and lead to, a variety of other health issues. Slouching, for example, can lead to difficulties breathing due to the increased tension on the back and shoulders. Below are a few simple ways to begin posture correction.
1) Sit down properly
Doing the simple things properly, such as sitting down correctly, are a good way of beginning to correct bad posture. Sit all the way back in your chair and find a comfortable middle range where there is not much pressure being put on your pubic bone or tailbone. Find a comfortable position where your feet are flat on the ground and centre your weight. Your buttocks and tailbone should be positioned to form a triangle.
2) Stretch regularly
For the times you’re not sitting down, get in the habit of stretching your limbs and muscles. When you are stuck in a position for a period of time, such as sitting or laying down, your muscles become fatigued. Stretch to release some of the tension that can lead to bad posture.
Stand up and try to touch your toes; this will stretch your hamstrings and relieve pressure on your lower back. Also, place your hands behind on your lower back and lean backwards as far as you can. Hold for eight seconds and repeat a few times.
3) Strengthen your core muscles
Your core muscles are those from below the rib-cage to your upper thighs; not just your abs. This includes muscles at your front and back, both working in sync to help you stand up straight. You must focus on these muscles equally as prioritising the development of one over the other can actually result in bad posture. Focusing on the front will have your back hunching forward, whilst focusing on the back can cause you to bend backwards. Muscles work in pairs so it is important to work them equally.
4) Check your posture regularly
This may seem simple enough, but many of us are simply unaware that we have bad posture. Why? Because we don’t see it. It can be difficult to be self-aware and notice when we are slouching or bending backwards until we simply look at ourselves in the mirror. Pull your head back and your shoulders down and back to see what your correct posture should be like. Use this as a guide and improve your awareness.