Top posture mistakes and how to fix them
10 Aug 2016
Standing up straight and walking tall have long been advocated by parents to encourage their children to stop slouching, but this advice is not just given to make their kids look more presentable. This advice is sound because good posture is the foundation of good health.
The importance of good posture
Bad posture can cause a number of health issues, including neck, shoulder and back pain, poor blood flow and respiration, as well as headaches and fatigue. The human body is designed to be upright and mobile for the majority of the day, so the modern world with its emphasis on comfort and sedentary living is often the primary enemy of good posture.
So how do we fight against poor posture? Well, in most cases, common sense applies. For example, if yours is a desk job, it is likely you are sitting forward towards a computer screen, hunching and rounding your shoulders and possibly even craning your neck. It is likely that even after as little as half an hour, you will begin to feel pain or cramps in your upper body. To combat this, you should establish a routine of taking a walking break away from your desk at least once every hour, or consider a standing desk.
Another posture problem is caused by talking on the telephone. It is normal for most people to tilt their head to one side while talking into a phone, sometimes even clamping the phone between their head and shoulder, and if the conversation turns into a long one or a person does this several times a day, they are going to twist their neck and shoulder joints and muscles. Alternatives are to use earphones plugged into the phone, or a Bluetooth earpiece, or simply put the phone on speaker.
A major cause of poor posture is the carrying of too much weight on our backs in backpacks, or on our shoulders in bags. Carrying too much weight can cause the body to bend over, and if you carry a heavy bag on the same shoulder every day, you are really going to suffer because your body will become accustomed to sagging and being crooked on that side. The answer to this is obviously to carry less, but if you have been acting in this way for years, it may be that you need professional help in the form of a chiropractor to realign your spine. Often, this kind of treatment is performed over a number of sessions where a chiropractor manipulates your joints and ligaments to put your spine back into its ideal position.
And then there is stress, which can play hell with your body, making your muscles tighten, especially in your neck and shoulder area, and draw your upper body inwards, making you slouch. The obvious way to combat this is to eliminate the stress you are feeling, which, admittedly, is easier said than done.
Good posture is vital for good health, but has the added advantage of making you look slimmer and elegant, and therefore more attractive, which is surely the best reason for wanting to walk tall.