Aching back? Your posture may be to blame. Here are nine tips to straighten you out.
Do you have an aching back? Do you often find yourself hunched, slumped and slouching? Your posture may be to blame. Here are nine ways to improve it.
Soft mattresses are a no-no for posture, so try to choose a firm one. If you have a soft mattress, you may be able to make it firmer by inserting stiff slats or boards underneath. If you’re a side sleeper, your knees should be slightly bent with your head level with your spine. If you sleep on your back, then your pillow shouldn’t be too thick.
Slouching puts stress on your spine and strains your bones, muscles and the joints that keep your spine in place. And as bad as it is for your back, it’s just as harmful to your insides, as slouching compresses your organs and makes it more difficult for your lungs and intestines to work properly.
When you stand, try to make yourself as tall as possible. You could even pretend you’re standing against a wall. Hold your head straight and keep your chin tucked in. A good indicator that you’re standing straight is when your ears are in line with your shoulders.
Try not to slump
Slumping may seem comfortable while you’re doing it, but posture-wise, you’ll pay the price. Try sitting as far back in your chair as possible, placing a rolled up towel or lumbar cushion behind the middle of your back. This will help maintain the natural curve of your spine. Keep your knees at a ninety-degree angle and try to keep them the same height as your hips, with your feet flat on the floor.
Hold your head up
Have you heard of text neck? It happens when you keep looking down at your phone or hunch over to read. Try holding your device or book in front of your eyes instead.
Don’t recline when you drive
You may look cool leaning back in the driver’s seat, but it really isn’t good for your posture. It’s better for you to sit closer to the steering wheel and bend your knees a bit more. As with sitting at a desk or table, your knees should be near to hip level and it can’t hurt to have a little support for your mid back either.
Hold back on the heels
High heels push your spine forward and overarches your back. This puts pressure on your nerves and can also put unnecessary weight on your knees, So, befriend your back and save your high-heeled shoes for special events.
Maintain a healthy weight
Too much weight around your middle increases the stress on your spine. Focus on core-strength training to help support your spine. A good exercise routine will not only help your back, but also your general outlook. If you’re not one for working out or running, you could try a gentler form of exercise, such as yoga or tai chi.
How to monitor your posture
If you’d like to know if you’re slouching, try this handy trick. Stand as straight as you can with the back of your head against a wall, then move your feet about 15cm out from the base of the wall. Your bum should be touching the wall, your lower back and your neck should be about 5cm away from the wall. If not, you may need to speak to a professional to help you with your posture.
Read more at WebMD.
Do you have any tips for better posture? Why not share them with our members?
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