How to Improve Your Posture
May 09, 2022
The spine is the main support system of the body. Your spinal column protects your spinal cord, enables flexible motion and maintains stability. Since it plays such an important role in the functionality of the human body, it would benefit everyone if they took good care of their spine.
Unfortunately, one of the common problems that most people experience today is poor posture. Due to the prevalence of desk jobs and smartphones, we often find ourselves slouched forward for most of the day. This often leads to back pain, neck pain and in some cases, it might even lead to breathing and digestive problems.
In this blog, we’re going to try and help you avoid these issues by discussing three simple ways to improve your posture.
Why is posture important?
If you’re not careful, poor posture can create a series of physical problems for you in the long run. Here are a few common issues that you might encounter.
- Musculoskeletal problems
Poor posture can cause your musculoskeletal system to become misaligned, causing stiffness, chronic pain and general discomfort. Bad posture can put a lot of strain on your spine, making you more vulnerable to injuries and joint problems.
- Digestive complications
Slouching forward can also put pressure on the abdomen, causing a number of digestive issues. According to Harvard Health Publishing, the pressure caused by poor posture can force gastric acid from your stomach back up the oesophagus. This disease is called acid reflux, also known as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). GERD symptoms typically include heartburn, belching and regurgitation.
In addition, hunched posture can also cause constipation and incontinence, which is the involuntary secretion of urine.
- Breathing issues
According to a study by Biomed Research International, a forward head posture can affect the diaphragm’s mobility and strength. As such, the study concluded that improper posture (in particular, alterations in the head and neck positions) can have an ‘immediate significant impact’ on breathing functions.
Ways to improve your posture:
- Visit a chiropractor
Just like with any other aspect of your health, it’s a good idea to consult a health professional with any significant issues that you might be having.
If you’re concerned about your posture, it will be beneficial for you to visit a qualified chiropractor. Chiropractors are specifically trained to treat disorders involving the larger musculoskeletal system. That being said, they do have a particular focus on the spine and its contribution to general well-being.
Qualified chiropractors will be able to help you with posturing, back pain, whiplash, strains, arthritis and restricted mobility.
- Exercise regularly
If you have poor posture, chances are, you’re not as active as you need to be. A sedentary lifestyle often leads to a weak core, which can then accentuate your slouching posture even further. A weakened core can also worsen previously mentioned symptoms such as stiffness and chronic back pain.
To remedy this, you need to stay active and commit to exercises that focus on improving your posture and strengthening your core muscles (back, abdomen and pelvis). We recommended doing yoga as well as tai chi. Sports like swimming, ballet and weight lifting might also promote good posture.
Regular exercise will also help you maintain a healthy weight and lessen the strain on your musculoskeletal system.
- Pay attention to your static posture
There are two types of body posture: dynamic posture and static posture. Dynamic posture is the position of your body while you’re moving. This includes running, walking or flexing your body. Static posture, on the other hand, is how you hold your body while you’re sitting or standing still.
Unfortunately, static posture is almost always overlooked. We are so absorbed in our work, our studies and our hobbies that we often don’t pay attention to how we’re standing or sitting.
When you’re sitting down at a desk, make sure that your lower back is properly supported and that the backrest is slightly tilted back. This will ensure that you’re sitting up straight. It’s also important to set up your monitor so that it’s around eye-level. If you place your monitor below or above your eye line, you’re going to be putting a lot of unnecessary strain and pressure on your neck.
Hopefully, this has helped you understand the importance of proper posture. It should be noted that the methods that we’ve outlined above are general tips and should not be taken as professional medical advice. If you have any further questions or concerns about your posture, we recommend that you consult your GP or a qualified chiropractor.