Infographic Transcript: The Ultimate Guide to Good Posture
Posture is about far more than looking confident and poised. Sitting or standing in the right position makes sure our bodies function properly. Here we look at posture and how you can improve yours starting today.
Is It Really That Bad?
Just what's so terrible about having poor posture, besides not looking as sharp as you could? Quite a bit, as it runs out.
When you slouch or slump, so does your spine, which can affect circulation. This can cause vertebrae to deteriorate over time.
Moving your body with poor posture is taxing on your muscles and joints. Coupled with the circulation issues poor posture can cause, the result can be earlier exhaustion in many cases.
Chronic Back, Neck & Shoulder Pain
✓ A neutral position relaxes the body.
✘ A bad position puts strain on the body.
- Shoulders and neck are also affected, resulting in headaches and other pains
- 50% of working Americans suffer from back pain, and it is the second most common reason for doctor visits
Other Potential Issues
- 25% of those with back pain suffer from a herniated disc, which may be caused by poor posture
- The wrong posture can cause misalignment in your body, which can negatively affect the muscles and bones
- This, in turn, can change the way you move and can even limit your range of motion
What Causes Bad Posture?
Bad posture isn't always a sign of laziness.
As a nation, weight issues are becoming more common, and weight gain changes how our skeleton and muscles support themselves.
We also tend to be less active, which can lead to increased risk for disease.
- Unsupportive shoes
- Accidents or injuries
- Being overweight
- Foot problems
- Low self-esteem
- Poor lumbar support while seated
- Unsupportive mattress
- Weak muscles
- Chairs that are too high or too low
- Hunching to get closer to a screen
The Vicious Cycle
Poor Posture > Back Pain > Worse Posture > More Pain
Great Posture In Every Position
Understanding good posture can help you realign your body the right way.
Here's a quick test to check your posture
- Stand with the back of your head against a wall
- Please heel 6 inches from the wall. Your buttocks and shoulder blades should touch the wall
There should be less than 2 inches between your neck or small of the back and wall.
A larger gap indicates bad posture and a curving spine.
- Keep your head straight and not tilted up or down
- Keep your shoulders back and try to relax
- Sit with your knees slightly lower than your hips
- Keep your feet flat on the floor
- Try to keep your back ramrod straight
- Work without support for your arms
- Tuck feet under the chair
- Cross your legs above the knees, as this may cause poor circulation
- Keep your shoulders back and aligned
- Use your stomach muscles to keep your body straighter
- Slightly bend your knees to ease pressure on the hips
- Use quality shoes that offer good support
- Stick your chest out. Instead, try to keep your chest perpendicular to the ground
- Stand in the same position for long periods of time. Move around and shift your weight
- Wear high heels when standing for long periods of time
- Keep your chin parallel to the ground
- Hit the ground with your heel first, and then roll onto the toe
- Keep your stomach and buttocks in line with the rest of the body
- Look down at your feet. Instead, look several feet ahead of you
- Arch your back
- Keep your head up and looking forward
- Keep your arms loose and elbows at 90° angle
- Lean forward slightly
- Hit the ground with the midpoint of your foot and roll it forward to the toe
- Hunch your shoulders
- Bend at the waist
- Lift your knees too high. Go with what feels natural
- Use a firm mattress that provides support
- Minimize spinal curves by using pillows s necessary or upgrading your mattress
- Stretch before bed to ease tense muscles
- Sleep on your stomach. It can cause pressure on the cervical spine (vertebrae in the neck)
- Sleep with a tall stack of pillows that causes your neck to bend unnaturally
Improve Your Lifestyle to Improve Your Posture
Did you know that just keeping your weight down can do wonders for improving your posture?
Exercise can also strengthen muscles, which help hold your body in the correct position.
Practice sitting and walking properly and note if injuries are causing changes in the way you sit, stand and move.
It may take some time, but you will be much happier when your body feels great.