Author: Dr. Scott Allin on 3 March 2020
Good posture has many benefits. It increases feelings of confidence and makes one appear more confident to others. It also decreases soreness caused by tense back muscles and reduces the likelihood of headaches.
What does good posture look like?
1. Shoulders are relaxed and at the same height.
2. Shoulders are held back (pay attention that they are not rolled forward)
3. Head is in a straight line with hips.
4. Ears over shoulders (pay attention to how the neck is holding the head)
5. While sitting, the angle of the knees and hips should both be 90 degrees
6. While standing, weight should be even on both legs
So how can we improve our posture, and improve our quality of life while doing it?
1. Begin each morning with twenty shoulder roles forward, then twenty shoulder roles backward.
After not moving very much during the night, it is beneficial to get muscles moving right away to get blood circulating to muscles and thus relieving some tension.
2. In sitting work spaces, place the chair at the proper height for your hips and knees to be 90 degrees when your feet are flat on the floor. If your chair does not move, get creative; put a step stool down for your feet, or an old phone book to put your feet on, to achieve the right angle.
3. If possible, minimize long periods of sitting or standing. If you do need to stand for long periods, periodically do calf raises (going from flat foot on to your tippy toes)to keep blood moving through though legs and to remind yourself to pay attention to your posture. If you need to sit for long periods of time, take motion breaks (a walk around the block, around the office, or up and down the stairs) as frequently as possible.
4. When you are sitting, sit with weight distributed evenly over your two sit bones and keep the weight off your tailbone.
5. Pay attention to your neck when reading of a cell phone, tablet or book. Either bring the device to eye level or move your eyeballs to see it. Avoid bending your neck or back forward to look at it.
6. If possible, put your computer screen at eye level so that your neck does not have to bend to see the screen. If possible, move the key board to a level so your elbows are at 90 degrees. There are wireless keyboards available at technology stores to assist with this challenge.
6.. Tell people that you are trying to improve your posture and ask them to hold you accountable. Then, Be humble, and accept when they remind you.
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