Poor Posture Hurts Your Health More Than You Think: How to Improve It
A chiropractor can provide advice and basic exercises.
Didn’t you pay attention when your mother nagged you to sit or stand up straight? You ought to have. If you’re a chronic slouch, you can certainly attribute your neck and shoulder discomfort, stiffness, and hurting back to poor posture.
Ignoring excellent posture recommendations can harm your general health and lead to neck and shoulder strain, back pain, and even joint injury. For a while, you may reject the discomfort, but it is your body’s way of grabbing your attention.
“Having bad posture may cause aches and pains, but having it over time causes serious harm,” explains chiropractor Andrew Bang, DC.
Consider this: if you went to the gym five days a week and did severe leg exercises, your legs would be strained and sore. Sitting at a desk all day might produce comparable outcomes.
Poor posture causes the muscles in your neck and back to overwork. Your immune system’s efforts to mend those muscles cause inflammation, which can lead to arthritis in surrounding joints over time.
So, how can you change your habits to solve the problem? Dr. Bang makes a few recommendations.
Take note of how your workspace is set up
Hold your shoulders and arms at a 90-degree angle when sitting at your desk to work. Place your display at eye level and straight ahead. “Most people position it such that they are facing downward, but this dramatically increases neck strain,” Dr. Bang observes.
A 2014 research on “text neck,” also known as “tech neck,” a condition caused by continually staring down at your phone or tablet, discovered that holding your head in line with your shoulders only weighs approximately 10 pounds.
“However, for every inch, you tilt it forward, the weight it exerts on your spine virtually doubles,” Dr. Bang explains.
Poor standing posture causes comparable issues with your neck and back. If you have access to a standing desk at your workplace, that is a welcome choice. However, you must remain vigilant in keeping appropriate posture.
Maintain a neutral spine posture. “Don’t thrust your buttocks backward or lean too far forward,” Dr. Bang warns. Standing in various situations might result in lower back discomfort.
And, once again, raise your computer screen to prevent gazing downward.
Move about as much as possible
Dr. Bang suggests that you walk around at work, whether you sit or stand.
If you can, take a little break and stroll about once per hour. Even if you’re confined to your desk, you may change your mobility.
“Your body craves diversity, so don’t overwork your muscles,” he advises. “Even if you have a standing desk, you must move. Throughout the day, sway a little or move forward and backward.”
To enhance your posture, try these exercises
Altering your everyday routine might help you feel better faster. “However, developing a habit of proper posture may take some time,” Dr. Bang cautions. It takes four to six weeks, just like any other fitness plan, to see meaningful results.
He suggests the following exercises to strengthen muscles and improve posture:
- Superman. Lie on your stomach and raise your arms and legs a few inches off the ground at the same time. Hold, relax, and then repeat.
- Core. Crunches, planks, and leg extensions are all exercises that help to develop your core muscles.
- Neck elongation Sit comfortably and force your head firmly back against the headrest of your chair (or automobile) or into your hands. Hold for 30 seconds several times to increase strength.
- The shoulder blades To assist bring your shoulders back, engage your trapezius and rhomboid muscles. Hold an exercise band at shoulder height in front of you, then stretch it across your chest while gently bending your arms. Return to the beginning point and repeat.
If you suspect that poor posture is causing your neck, shoulder, or back discomfort, consult your doctor about further coping strategies or therapies.
Take action now to enhance your posture; you’ll be pleased you did later. (And your mother will be pleased with you.)