What exactly is poor posture? Well, to understand “poor” posture, it’s easier to think about “good” posture first.
Good posture is when your centre of mass (belly button area for men and just below the hips for females) and base of support are aligned. In this upright position, your muscles and skeleton work more efficiently to keep you stable and help reduce pain.
Poor posture is when your body is out of this alignment. Typically, poor posture is seen when we slouch or crane our neck. These days, it is very common to see someone with poor posture since we often spend much of our day sitting and we aren’t aware of our posture.
In time, poor posture could lead to neck pain, back problems, poor balance, and other aggravating chronic conditions. Since poor posture also puts pressure on your internal organs (think about how the slouch position squishes your belly), you may also be negatively affecting your digestion, breathing, and even your mental health! This is why it is so important to change your posture now! It’s never too late. Start with these small tips, then work on developing them into everyday habits:
- Sit up tall in your car and adjust the rearview mirror. Now, any time you check the mirror (which should be often!), you will know if you are slouching and can correct your posture.
- Put a post-it note on your computer screen that says “sit up tall.” This will help remind you to correct your posture throughout the day. Once you get used to doing this, you won’t need the reminder anymore!
- Get up and move. Never underestimate the power of stretching and moving. If you have to use the washroom or need to get something from the printer or another work station, take the long route. In the very least, try a simple chest stretch to relax your muscles.
- Drink lots of water. This will not only help keep you hydrated, but it will also force you to get up frequently (to use the washroom).
- Do a “Posture Check-in.” Throughout the day, ask yourself a few questions: Is my weight evenly distributed? Am I sticking out my neck? Are my shoulders in a neutral position? Where is my head/jaw? You can do these check-ins when texting on your phone, brushing your teeth, driving to work, doing laundry, when sitting, or during pretty much any activity throughout the day. The more often you check-in, the more often you can correct poor posture and create healthier good posture habits!
- See a healthcare professional. You may not think about seeing a Chiropractor, Physiotherapist, or Registered Massage Therapist if you’re not in pain, but they can be very valuable in helping correct poor posture. Consider seeing one or all of these to help you along.