Proper posture sends a positive message. If you have the signs of poor posture, let's correct them.
I'm sure you still remember how your Mom and teacher have been telling you to "stand straight," or "sit erect."
Did you ever take that advice?
Signs of poor posture are obvious. They create muscle tension around the shoulder and neck that stresses the spine. The more you ignore poor posture, the more you stress your back.
Proper posture, on the other hand, is about training the body to stand, walk, and sit. It is a position where the least strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments. The correct alignment of the bones and joints contributes to a good appearance and a healthy spine.
Do You Have These Three Most Visible Signs?
The moment you experience pain on the shoulder, shallow, and tensed breathing patterns, it is a sign that you have to check your posture.
You have poor posture if you have the following:
1. The shoulder that slouches and hunches lazily
This body position puts pressure on your bones. It stresses the ligaments that stabilize the joints in the spine causing pain in the back. Slouching compresses the discs causing your pelvic muscles to go slack.
This is dangerous as allowing your body to hold this posture for a long time can make it harder to support a well-aligned stance.
2. Head and neck that is jabbing forward
With an awkward forward-head posture, the head shifts the center of gravity that interferes with the lung's vitality which can lead to heart and vascular problems.
Poor head posture increases the weight of the head and putting a huge strain on the spine. This imbalance creates tension on the entire neck that affects the body's range of motion, including sleep.
3. An arching lower back or curved spine
It is the spine that supports the weight of the head and trunk while providing a protective passage for the nerves.
An arched lower back shows that your spine is not in proper alignment. Here, the back muscles, ligaments, discs, and spinal joints are all under extra stress. This weakens the abdominal muscle joints and connective tissues that can slowly decompress your spinal column.
The Correct Way to Stand and Walk
If you stand up straight, walk with a straight back, and sit erect, you are exuding confidence, and your body will thank you for that.
Good posture not only means having a straight back when standing. The way you walk sends a strong message on how your body communicates.
- Match a nice-accentuated back with your head up. It's a power stance.
- Focus on standing tall as you walk. Your chin should be parallel to the ground.
- Lengthen your back with shoulders back but with ease.
- Engage your core, swing your arms. It makes you walk more easily.
- Do steps in heel-ball-toe footwork.
- Look straight and walk with confidence, but most of all, relax.
The first days you train yourself to stand and walk correctly can either be fun or challenging, depending on the way you deal with the enhancement. Some may find it forcing their body to do the stiff stance.
But take note that it is through practice that puts your body in a natural position and helps it to get used to the changes in a positive way. The good thing is - as your body feels good about the changes, the benefit will be as rewarding when you get more comfortable.
Standing and walking with the right technique helps you to be mindful of how you move. You'll thank yourself one day that you made it.
Do You Have the Signs When You Sit?
If you start to complain about pain in the neck, back, and shoulder; the cause could be prolonged hunching while sitting. Guilty?
Sitting for long periods of time limits body movement. When this happens, it reduces the flow of blood supply, and slowly develop stiffness in the trunk and lower back.
If you keep doing this every day without can make your symptoms worse or harder to deal with.
Correct Your Sitting Posture
- It's okay to slouch while positioning yourself to sit at the end of a chair.
- Then pull your head and shoulders up with ease into a sitting position.
- Gently move back in the chair until your back and buttocks can touch the back of the chair.
- Both your hips should be rested as they distribute your body weight evenly
- Sit with your back straight and your shoulders up. In short, sit tall.
- At work, try to sit up close to your work. Adjust the chair in a way that allows you to rest your elbows and arms on your chair or desk. This will help keep your shoulders relaxed.
A short tip:
Train your body by always reminding yourself to accentuate the curve of your back all the time that you're seated.
What About While Sleeping?
The way you sleep contributes to your posture habits. When you sleep, your body undergoes a repair and rejuvenating process. Therefore it is the perfect opportunity for the spine to align itself naturally.
No matter how much you like sleeping in a particular position, make it a habit to give your body a chance to sleep in a position that helps it maintain the curve in the back.
Avoid sleeping on your side with your knees drawn up to your chest. Use a pillow that allows your head to be in a normal position. Just do your best to sleep on your back. It is healthy for the spine.
Below is a video with Dr. Jo talking about the best sleeping position. You would love to learn from an expert.
What Causes Poor Posture?
Bad habits start with inactivity of the muscles. This automatically puts you in a poor posture that exposes postural muscles to injury and back pain.
The exaggerated and abnormal sway is generally associated with rounded shoulders, forward head, and a protruding stomach and buttocks.
If you see people with bent knees when they stand or walk (particularly when wearing heels), your mind automatically tells you the person has to correct her posture.
When people tend to overwork and strain, improper position of the body occurs, particularly the neck. Without them realizing it, the steady stance is starting to lead the body to a forward head position.
It is said that a forward neck posture of 3 inches increases the weight of the head on the neck by 30 pounds and the pressure put on the muscles increases 6 times.
This extra pressure on the neck from an altered posture flattens the normal curve of the cervical spine. It results in the abnormal strain of muscles, ligaments, bones and joints of the neck causing them to deteriorate faster than normal.
The end result is a lack of balance and poor posture.
Awareness is the beginning of correction.
- If you sit for long periods, program yourself to take breaks from time to time. A 20-30 seconds slight stretch is a big help. Get up and move gently pulling your head over your shoulders and squeeze the blades of your shoulders together in the back. Do deep breathing at the same time, inhaling and exhaling to ease your back.
- When working on a computer, your eyes should be, or "at least" eye-level to the monitor. Adjust if necessary to save your neck from getting strained. Some people use a chair with a neck holder to give support to the neck muscles.
- When driving, use a back support pillow. This will give support to the back and the head allowing the neck to move back over the shoulders.This technique can also encourage good sitting posture which activates muscles to improve posture and reduce the forward head position.
- Backpacks are also one of the reasons of a poor posture. Backpacks, particularly heavy packs that are not properly designed can cause the head to move forward to compensate for weight in the back. To correct this, always use backpacks that are properly and appropriately designed to distribute weight evenly and help to prevent strain that begins the process of poor neck posture.
Power Postures You Would Love to Learn
- 8 Power Poses -Body Language & Confidence -YouTube
Can POWER POSES make you unstoppable at work?
- Sitting Gracefully - The Lady-Like Elegance
A lady who moves with grace and elegance is a woman of poise and beauty.
- Healthy Posture Tips For Seniors
Simple Tips to Help Prevent the Risk of Falling
Recommended Posture Help & Corrector
Tonette Fornillos (author) from The City of Generals on June 18, 2012:
It's what happens when we stress the shoulders, we slump when we're tired. Poor shoulders. I also have been doing just about anything to stretch them, liked the way it stretches the blades. I like your attitude, you don't wait until it gets so hurt to make corrections. Great will, you'll live long! You might find these tips helpful, http://shoulderstretches.net/:=)... I'm happy you find the tips superb. Thank you for reading. Best regards and be safe.
JP Carlos from Quezon CIty, Phlippines on June 18, 2012:
I'm a sloucher and after they day's work I can feel the strain on my back. There was a time when I often had headaches because of poor posture. From time to time, I feel my body slouching but I try to correct it immediately. The tips here are superb!
Tonette Fornillos (author) from The City of Generals on June 17, 2012:
Your body will pardon you for recognizing the wake-up call :=), go ahead and begin the changes. You'll thank yourself for that. Cheers to that healthy turn of the wheel!
If it's the subject that has been much slept on, it's your turn to make it the next subject to excel... I think you're on your way to it. Thank you for stopping and reading. Now take heart!
shin_rocka04 from Maryland on June 15, 2012:
This is some good information...I started doing the short stretch breaks when I'm at the computer for a long period of time just a bit recently. Good posture is a subject that's very slept on. Thanks for the tips.
caribbeanmedskuls on June 10, 2012:
This is a great "wake up call" for hubbers who unconsciously neglect taking care of proper posture especially when fully engrossed at work. Thank you for "waking" me up. I plead guilty!:)
Tonette Fornillos (author) from The City of Generals on June 08, 2012:
I'm quite sure a bad sitting posture is to blame for those pains in your back, been there. I do sit a lot 'til now so also a reminder to take breaks in between. Try standing tall, it puts all things in place and pulls the head right where it should be (where else should the head be!...lol), but honestly,very effective to me. Thank you for sharing.
Joanna Chandler from On Planet Earth on June 08, 2012:
This is very interesting hub and i do stand up bad i have a lot of back pain also. I should practice to stand well.
Tonette Fornillos (author) from The City of Generals on June 07, 2012:
If you help your body undergo a complete repair with a good sleeping posture, you'll get a more rejuvenated body the next day. You'll shine healthier and more looking-good! I'm sure of that. Thank you James and cheers for Superman! :=) Take care.
Olde Cashmere on June 06, 2012:
This is something I have had to always be aware of as I tend to slouch. After doing this for years since childhood I developed constant back pain. I've learned to correct it the best I can and this hub is a nice reminder to put more focus and attention to it, especially with the way I sleep. Thank you for this well written and helpful hub Tonipet, voted up, shared, interesting, and useful :)
Tonette Fornillos (author) from The City of Generals on May 07, 2012:
Thank you for stopping and for the vote. So glad you find the hub interesting and useful. More power!
Heidi from Gulf Coast, USA on May 07, 2012:
Voted up, interesting & useful!