The Slouching Alert! Time To Sit Up


staring into the screenMy mom once asked me, “Were you born a hyena in your previous birth?”

That’s because she was agitated at watching me sitting in front of the screen, my head bent forward ready to hop in any minute now.

Sitting in front of the computer screen for hours while at work reminds me of that, though it isn’t as exciting, but then my head still bends forward because I’m trying so hard to focus.

And then jumping into the bed at night puts a break, but its back to square one the next morning I become a zombie again staring into the screen, with my either hand on the chin and my back slouched forward or sideways.

And then one fine day, I accidentally looked into the mirror as I was standing sideways. I noticed I wasn’t really standing, I was leaning, which felt quite natural. Only it wasn’t, because my posture resembled to that of an old lady’s, someone who’s struck by Parkinson’s.

Well, I got the ultimate hint and I told myself, “This is it, time to set myself straight!”

how to improve your posture

Why Is Body Posture Important

Your body posture is about how each part of your body is aligned. Right from your head to the neck, neck to your shoulders, down the spine to the knees and the feet.

Messing with your body’s natural posture can affect your muscles, joints and even your internal organs

Incorrect posture overworks your muscles, compresses your internal organs and hampers blood circulation, and can even lead to muscle and joint damage.

On the other hand, right posture improves your mood, keeps you pain free as your muscles and joints are aligned and flexible.

What more, you look slimmer and taller and your personality gets a boost.

If you sit straight and stand tall, all that stress on your head and shoulders will ease away and you’ll be complaining less about that sore neck or never ending back pain.

Discover Your Posture

standing postureHow do you know if you have the correct posture? Simple, just like I did.

Stand sideways in front of a mirror and observe yourself. Notice if your knee caps are bending, as you need to pull them back in. If your pelvis is out and your shoulders are drooped, it means that you have a swayed back posture.

To have a correct posture, you need to have a straight back, your knees straight and pointed forward. Your earlobes should be above your collarbone, and your pelvis tucked in so that your spine maintain its natural curve.

How To Work On It?

As simple as it may sound, improving your posture and maintaining it can be quite challenging. Its all about sitting, standing and walking straight right?

But how do you do that all the time? You actually need to focus on your muscle memory. Your body needs to adapt itself to the correct alignment and maintain it unconsciously at all times without any stress.

And to achieve that level, you need to practice correcting your posture daily by focusing on those little bad habits. Doing that will not only help you while at work, it will also help you achieve better results during workout.

Daily Tips To Improve Your Posture

  • don't slouchWhen you sit or stand, make sure that your head is above your shoulder bones. Bending forward to look at the screen overworks the muscles in your neck and upper back. Make sure that your workstation matches the height of your elbows.
  • Although sitting straight is healthy for your spine, remember to support your lower back properly while seated. Also make sure that when you sit, your legs are bent on a 90 degree angle. Sit as much close as possible to your desk.
  • Whenever you bend down to pick something up, don’t bend your full body. Just flex your knees and hips, this way you’ll avoid the tendency to slouch every time you bend or lean forward. It’s also an easy way to stretch yourself a little.
  • While walking always keep your gaze forward, head up and chest out and pelvis tucked in.
  • walkingWhile driving, make sure that your hips are far apart from your back, and your sitting position is such that your elbows bend a little while at the steering.
  • Whenever you’re standing, notice if your shoulders are slouched, correct it and feel the difference. When at work, take standing breaks every once in a while to keep the blood flowing.
  • lifting heavy weightAvoid wearing overweight backpacks or side bags. Wear it on either sides every time your shoulders feel the need to breathe.While walking, always keep your head up, chest out, shoulders back and eyes straight ahead.
  • Try not wearing high pointed heels unless you are wearing it for a special occasion. Its the worst thing you could do to your body muscles. In order to maintain balance, your body places extra pressure on the spine, hips, knees, calves and the balls of your feet. Wear platform heels instead.

Specific Tips

Relaxing Your ArmsIf you workout, focus on your agonist and antagonist muscles evenly. Same goes for your quads and hamstrings. Perform squats and calf raise exercises to strengthen your quads, hamstrings and calf muscles.

If you are on a desk job like me, include deskercises like shoulder rolls and ankle rolls like the one in the picture. It will only steal a minute or two from your work, and the results are worth it.

Get yourself a yoga mat. Try yoga poses like the butterfly pose, cow face pose, bridge pose, and cobra pose. Nothing can work better than practicing yoga. It is the most effective way to enhance your body posture and keep your body naturally aligned.

butterfly poseMaintaining the natural posture of your body is healthy both for the mind and the body. The best way to keep going is by feeling the difference every time you sit, stand or walk straight.

Whenever your body hints for extra comfort, remind yourself of the suffering those little moments of comfort caused you. Trust me, it will keep you motivated. However, if you still feel like cutting yourself some slack, you can do that for a few minutes, but not for long.

Picture yourself 20 years older in the same position and you’ll be sitting back straight in no time!

Related post: The Busy Person’s Guide To Fitness- Its Out!

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