Did you know that back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide? Experts estimate that an astonishing 80% of us will experience some level of back pain at some point in our lives.
The causes of back pain are many, but one of the most common is poor posture. Because most of us spend the majority of our days sitting at a desk and then on a couch scrolling our phones, bad posture has become the norm.
If this lifestyle sounds familiar, learning how to improve posture is extremely important. Poor posture not only leads to back and neck pain but can decrease your quality of life over time.
Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Listed below are some excellent tips for how to improve your posture. Keep reading to learn more.
Be Mindful of Your Body
The first, and most important, step is to be mindful of your body at all times, at least at the beginning. If you don’t make a point to notice how you’re standing, sitting, or moving at any given moment, the rest of the tips on this list won’t do any good.
After a while, you won’t have to worry about how to improve back posture. Good posture will become second nature. But until that happens, you need to check your posture and adjust accordingly often.
If you need to, set an alarm on your phone or watch for every half hour. You won’t have to do this for long, your brain will build a habit faster than you think.
Stand Up Straight
Though the majority of your focus will likely be on good posture while seated, the way you stand is just as important. When you’re standing, your shoulders should be relaxed and pulled back rather than falling forward.
Keep your weight on the balls of your feet and be careful not to lock your knees. One of the best ways to maintain good posture is to keep your stomach slightly flexed. This will also help to tone your abs over time – even more reason to stand with good posture!
Many people struggle with “tech neck,” meaning their head is bent forward rather than level with their ears in line with their shoulders. To prevent this, imagine that a string is attached to the top of your head, gently pulling it upward.
If you have to stand for a long period of time, shift your weight from foot to foot or from toe to heel to prevent fatigue rather than slouching.
Sit With Good Posture
Being mindful of your body while seated is crucial, as this is when most of us fall into unhealthy habits with posture. When seated, your shoulders should be relaxed but not rounded. If you need to, pull your shoulders back to avoid hunching.
With your shoulders in the correct position, turn your attention toward your head. Tech neck is a huge problem in the seated position, as you tend to learn toward your screen without even realizing you’re doing it.
Don’t allow your head to fall in front of your shoulders. Remember, your ears should be in alignment with your shoulders at all times.
To make correcting your posture easier, ensure that you have an ergonomic desk setup. Your chair should allow for your feet to rest flat on the floor, not tucked underneath you. Armrests are preferable, as they keep your shoulders and elbows relaxed.
As for your desk, your monitor should be at eye level. If you have to move your neck forward or backward to see, adjust it. Your keyboard should be low enough that you’re able to type with your elbows at a 90-degree angle.
Don’t Stay in One Position Too Long
The key to good posture is to keep your body moving. You shouldn’t stay seated for long periods of time, nor should you stand still for hours on end. You’re most susceptible to bad posture when your muscles are fatigued.
Adopt a habit of changing position every half an hour or so. Let’s say you’re at work, and you’ve been sitting at your desk for thirty minutes. Get up and stretch, then take a minute or two to walk around the office.
This will not only help you maintain good posture but will make you feel more energized when you sit down to work again.
Invest in a Quality Mattress and Pillow
Last but not least, you might be surprised to learn that there’s an answer to how should you sleep to improve your posture. This makes sense when you consider that you spend at least one-third of your life in bed.
Invest in a quality mattress that’s neither too soft nor too firm. It should be supportive but comfortable, preventing you from sinking so far that your spine is thrown out of alignment.
Your pillow should keep your head in alignment with your spine, so the type of pillow you need will depend on your sleep position. Back sleepers, for example, will need a thinner pillow than those who sleep on their side.
If you need more advice for sleeping in a way that’s kind to your spine, these tips will tell you everything you need to know.
Have More Healthy Years by Learning How to Improve Posture
Learning how to improve posture isn’t only about improving your appearance. Maintaining good posture and range of motion is essential to preserving your health and quality of life in your later years.
As you can see, there are no difficult tasks to tackle when working on your posture. All it takes is dedication and patience. You’ll have perfect posture before you know it.
Interested in learning more about improving your health and adding years to your life in the process? Take a look at our blog!