When you were growing up, you were probably told too often by a worried parent or teacher to fix your posture. Claims that you would ruin your back and health were all too ripe at that age, and you probably grew tired of it. And today, even though we know better through living that bad posture is extremely bad for us, just how bad can it be? Turns out bad posture goes beyond the simple physical nature of bending our backs and facing our heads too high or too low.
Back in 2012, Amy Cuddy’s TED talk on body language talked a bit about how our simplest actions convey the most about ourselves to other people.
One of Cuddy’s famous quotes is really telling when it comes to understanding how important this is:
“Our nonverbals govern how other people think and feel about us.”
But the problem still persists: maintaining proper posture seems like a 24/7 conscious task. However, with a little strategy, you can make keeping a great posture easy.
You may have seen in the movies where kids go to finishing school and their teachers make them balance books on their heads as they walk. You may not have time to take precious hours of your day to train this, so don’t. Instead, pretend whenever you’re sitting or walking that you’re trying to balance a book on your head. This will not only improve your posture dramatically but it will also help your concentration.
“Every inch you hold your head forward, you add 10 pounds of pressure on your spine,” says Dr. Jason Queiros, a Chiropractor at Stamford Sports and Spine in Connecticut. That’s a lot of stress being placed on your back that you can avoid simply by avoiding slouching. By overusing your neck & back muscles, you can give yourself headaches afterwards from the tension. Furthermore, spinal issues can have a dramatic effect on your entire body, starting with ribs which can then affects your hearts and lungs.
Besides adjusting your resting posture, you can use exercises to ameliorate it. Specifically, most exercises that bring your shoulder blades closer together is a good start though it’s recommended you check with a fitness expert first. Click here to learn about scapular retraction.
Perpendicular is the word
When you sit, make sure your arms, knees, feet and legs are all at a 90 degree angle to each other, starting with the ground. The way your body is built generally complements this attitude and you’ll only be better for it. It might take a little self-policing, but once you put in enough time you can effectively manage your posture when keeping this in mind. This is a simplified strategy that you can use to keep track of how you’re doing and properly distributes the weight of your body to minimize physical stress & tension.
Get a good computer monitor mount
Chances are for one reason or another, you use a desktop computer for an extended period of the day, generally for work. This is the perfect opportunity to manage your posture without even thinking about it. Today, there’s a wide range of monitor mounts available for all scenarios, whether it’s at home or at work. For a relatively small investment you can boost your comfort, productivity and health. You can get a basic mount and set it up on your wall if your set up only expects you to look in one direction and angle, or you can get a more sophisticated system if you think you’ll need to adjust your screen often, for example, a certain angle for typing documents and one for watching videos for extended periods of time.
You can also use this as an opportunity to update your desk design to impress other people, say, if you work in the service industry. As opposed to turning your monitor around or your desk, you can simply swing the screen to their viewing angle. Click Here