Having good posture is essential to keeping your back and neck pain free, but it also can have a dramatic effect on other aspects of your health. By keeping your spine and neck in proper alignment you encourage the muscles and organs in your abdomen to function as intended. With heavy slouching you can experience a variety of symptoms such as:
- Back and Neck Pain
- Headaches and Jaw Pain
- Low Energy
- Digestive Issues
Additionally, the sooner you fix your posture the better, as you are preventing causing unnecessary wear and damage to your body.
Tips for a better Posture
Identifying Good Posture
If you are having trouble identifying good posture, imagine your favorite superheroes in their typical hands-on-hips pose. Part of the reason that these poses look so heroic is that they often have exaggerated good posture—a straight back perfectly in alignment, engaged core muscles, and an open chest.
Strike a Pose!
By taking the Superman/Wonder Woman pose for five to ten minutes daily, you exercise your core and back muscles. Additionally, some researchers have argued that taking prolonged power poses can improve mood and confidence.
Keeping the muscles, discs, and joints in your back in alignment is very important to the health of your posture. With perfect posture you should be able to draw a line from each earlobe to their respective feet. The key is that your back and neck should feel wholly balanced and supported by each section underneath. If everything is properly in alignment, it reduces the possibility of pinched nerves or blood vessels which are responsible for back and neck pain.
As difficult and annoying it is to work out your core, the muscles surrounding your abdomen are essential to keeping your back and neck upright. Sit ups and crunches are a great way to strengthen muscles in these areas once they are developed. If you have trouble with these exercises, there is no need to feel despair. Exercises like planks and leg lifts are great for beginning to develop these muscles to begin with.
Choose the Right Office Chair
If you have the ability to purchase and use your own office chair, you might want to consider something with more back support. Particularly, most office chairs don’t have support in the lumbar area(located in the lower portion of the back). You should be able to rest your lumbar section against the back of your chair, while keeping your core engaged to prevent slouching over your work.
Take a Break from your Office Chair
Run-of-the-mill office chairs often fail to provide the support necessary for good posture. If you find yourself sitting in an office for many hours at a time, you might want to consider investing in a hybrid desk, which would allow you to stand and work as needed. If this is not an option that is available to you, be sure to get up and stretch regularly during the day. This way you can recharge stiff muscles throughout the day.