23 Mar 5 habits for healthy posture
1) Take Frequent Posture Breaks: Posture breaks offset the force of gravity on your spine and supporting muscles. To perform a "Posture Break," bring your shoulders and arms back, stick your chest out, and bring your head back with your eyes pointed up to the ceiling. This stretches your anti-gravity muscles and helps you have better seated posture. You can perform a posture break in your chair or standing. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds each hour of your workday. You can perform a posture break in your chair or standing. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds each hour of your workday.
2) Sit Up Straight: Your spine should have an "S" shaped curvature, not a slouched "C" shape curve. If the spine rounds forward to a "C" shape focus on sitting up straight. If you feel fatigued maintaining proper upright posture, you can place a small cushion behind your lower back that will help to support the lumbar spine upright.
3) Strengthen Your Core: Your "Core" musculature are the muscles that support your lower back and prevent injury when lifting or bending. A strong core is a supported spine; a weak core makes you more susceptible to back pain and injury. To strengthen your core, focus on doing exercises such as planks and side planks to work all regions of your core musculature. Avoid flexion exercises; instead focus on exercises that promote extension.
4) Sit on an Exercise Ball: Sitting on an exercise ball instead of a chair that lacks spinal support is a great way to improve your posture. While seated on the ball you are engaging your core musculature throughout the day and building postural fitness to support your back and maintain proper posture. It is nearly impossible to slouch while sitting on an exercise ball, with weak posture you risk losing your balance.
5) Design Your Workspace: Design your workspace to support proper posture while sitting. Make sure there is enough room to move around on the exercise ball and keep your most commonly used items with an arm's reach away. Rotating your spine or reaching forward to grab items repetitively throughout the day can add additional stress to your lower back. Also, position your computer screen at eye level. When it is lower than eye level it is easier to have slouched posture with your neck and shoulders forward because you are looking down for a prolonged period of time.
Yours in Health
Dr Michael Bloom
Dr Michael Bloom has a wide and varying interest in what it takes to live a healthy and happy life. He has over 20 years experience as a chiropractor in Europe and Australia and has attended over 40 post graduate seminars and courses. Currently he has a particular interest in the declining posture of society and the health implications associated with poor posture.