When it comes to joint pains, many of us don’t think about the impact of having poor posture. But in reality, bad habits like not standing up straight or slouching when sitting can place enormous strain on the spine, shoulders, hips and knees. In turn, this can lead to joint pain, limited flexibility and headaches.
Over the years, many of us fall into bad habits, like walking with a hunch or sitting slouched in a chair. But with age, this gets worse – and your joints and muscles end up paying the price.
What’s more, with the rise of technology and most of us spending our days chained to our computer screens, bad posture is on the rise. Slouching, leaning into a screen and multitasking with a phone under our chin are all things many of us can relate to, and with lives only set to get busier, the problem isn’t going to go away any time soon.
Taking care of the way you sit and stand is one of the best insurance policies you can have for preventing future pain and problems. Here, we look at the best way you can improve your posture while sitting and standing.
How can I improve my posture while sitting?
- Sit at the end of your chair and roll your neck and shoulders forward into a slouching position.
- Pull your head and shoulders back until you’re sitting tall. Push your lower back forward and push out the curve of your spine.
- Release your muscles slightly, and you’ll be in a good sitting position.
- Push yourself back in the chair until your back meets the chair.
Your seat should be parallel with the ground and your knees even with your hips. It’s important that both feet rest on the floor, and if they aren’t – use a foot rest to elevate your feet. Try and keep your arms as close to your body as possible, as if they’re too far away from your body you can stress the muscles in your arms and shoulders.
How can I improve my posture while standing?
Proper posture is all about alignment and balance. Your feet are the centre point of that, and if they’re not properly aligned, it’ll affect the way you walk.
When you’re trying to achieve the correct standing posture, make sure you:
- Place your feet shoulder width apart and stand up straight.
- Make an effort to stand on the balls of your feet.
- Keep your shoulders squared.
- Pull your head back and up, keeping your head square on the top of the neck and spine.
The benefits of proper posture
Proper posture enables you to reduce muscle pain and stiffness. It gives your internal organs more space, improves blood flow and stimulates the circulation. Not only that, but when you have good posture, you often look taller and slimmer too.
At Solihull Osteopathic Practice, we find that a large number of our clients visit us for problems that have been caused or made worse by poor posture. By retraining the muscles and joints, we can help patients to get some relief, and advise them on how to improve symptoms through improving their posture.
If you are looking to relieve some of the symptoms of poor posture, or would like some advice, our highly trained osteopaths may be able to help. Please call 0121 705 4499.