Ways To Fix Bad Posture

Ways To Fix Bad Posture

Having a bad posture is something that is more common than not. In fact, it would come as no surprise that many people don't even realise they have a bad posture. Over time, a poor posture can cause some issues so we want to suggest some ways that could potentially prevent that. Before we suggest some ways that could potentially improve poor posture, it's important to establish what exactly is a ‘bad posture’. Postural dysfunction (aka bad posture) is when your spine is in an unnatural position and spinal curves are emphasised - resulting in joint and muscle stress and, in the long term, pain.[1]

(If you are experiencing extreme pain from what you suspect is deriving from having a poor posture, please consult with a medical professional.)

Common Poor Posture Mistakes

There are some very common bad postural habits that come from simple everyday activities. Everyday activities include walking, sitting, standing, bending, lifting, cooking, etc. The common bad habits that you could develop while doing these activities are: 

Hunched Back/Text Neck

While on your laptop either shopping for clothes or working from home, you may be hunching over your keyboard and leaning forward towards your screen. This over time can lead to poor posture. The same applies to ‘text neck’.  While you're on your phone sending memes, scrolling through Instagram - your neck could be hunched over your phone. Hunching over/text neck suggests that you could have a tight chest and a weak upper back. [2]

Slouching

Slouching can come from sitting on your couch watching Netflix or waiting for your coffee at your local coffee spot. While slouching won't always cause discomfort, over time this can place some strain on muscles and tissues. [3]

Sticking Your Bottom Out

Sticking out your bottom can come from wearing heels, holding excessive weight around your tummy, or could come from having a curve in your lower back naturally. This outward curve causes what some call the ‘Donald Duck’ posture - in other words, the stuck out bottom posture. Over time this can cause pain and muscle tension. [4]

Improving Posture in the Long Term

Exercise 

Staying active and exercising can help improve your posture.[5] Strong core muscles play a key role in maintaining good posture. You can strengthen your core muscles (which include the muscles around your pelvis and lower back) by holding a plank for a couple of seconds. If you dread planking, you can make it more fun by putting on a YouTube video or Netflix show on your phone and planking over it. 

Back and chest exercises can target upper back muscles which could improve stabilisation and make your chest more flexible. Focusing on chest and back exercises have been said to be good for people that sit down a lot. Try doing a few reps of high row, reverse fly, angled presses [6] - if you’re unsure what any of these exercises are, watch this useful YouTube video by Blogilates here

 

Stretching and yoga is said to help improve posture and relieve tension [7]. Yoga can be a more relaxed approach to tackling the negative consequences of slouching over your phone all day. You can actually start today with our Instagram highlight titled ‘Move with Us’ - this features a short guided session by yoga teacher Belinda Burwell.

Sitting Properly

You might be shocked to discover this but you could be sitting down wrong. If your job involves sitting down either at a computer or a front desk it's important that you get the art of sitting down right, as you'll be doing it a lot. It’s important to have both feet flat on the floor, legs uncrossed, knees at or below your hip level, and a backrest supporting your whole back. [8] This is a top sitting down tip for those working at home, if you need extra WFH tips click here

Standing Properly 

When it comes to standing, self-awareness is the key. Make a conscious effort to think about how you're standing. Are you leaning on one leg? Are you doing the Donald Duck pose? Is your neck arched over your phone? What you want to do is create a strong foundation -  “What you want is a tripod of support with your big toe, your little toe and your heels feeling equally connected to the floor.” - says Wendy Scott in Benenden Health. [9]

Get The Perfect Posture

Okay, there you have it, a few simple ways you can improve bad posture. This is something that won't get fixed overnight and it’s important to seek medical counsel if you're experiencing pain. But attempting to fix your posture is something that you can never start too late - making conscious changes to the way that you sit on your couch watching a movie or the way you sit while reading one of our Daily Ritual Blogs makes a bigger difference in the long-run. 

References
  1. https://www.thephysiocompany.com/blog/stop-slouching-postural-dysfunction-symptoms-causes-and-treatment-of-bad-posture
  2. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/common-posture-mistakes-and-fixes/
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/slouching
  4. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/common-posture-mistakes-and-fixes/
  5. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/is-it-too-late-to-save-your-posture
  6. https://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/strength-training-posture-exercises 
  7. https://www.verywellfit.com/yoga-poses-to-improve-your-posture-3567224
  8. https://www.benenden.co.uk/be-healthy/body/4-simple-ways-to-improve-your-posture/
  9. https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/how-to-improve-posture