Poor posture doesn’t just affect us negatively physically, but also mentally and emotionally.
Most of us go through our daily actions unaware of our posture – sitting, standing, walking, or sleeping. Recurring aches, pains and niggles are a constant source of discomfort. Poor posture doesn’t just affect us negatively physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Any pain or muscular stress, especially chronic, is a source of irritation. If allowed long enough, it can even become depressive. Here are few habits that could cause poor posture:
You could be slouching sitting or standing. This commonly leads to stress/pain in the neck, shoulder and back muscles, and affects the spine along with the abdominal muscles.
Correct it: Rotate the shoulder muscles back and down to correct forward droop. When seated, sit up tall. Place a small cushion between your lower back and the back rest, if needed, to help maintain natural curve of the spine. Keep your legs relaxed and bent at the knees, both feet resting on the floor (in line with or slightly ahead of the knees). When standing, pull yourself up. Watch out for the forward hip thrust. This usually happens if you thrust your knees back and stand. Place feet evenly on either side or midline of the body. Roll the shoulder back and down, with arms resting on the sides of the body.
Standing with hip thrust to one side
This impacts the hip muscles, apart from the muscles mentioned above. It also creates a muscular imbalance between the two sides of the body.
Correct it: Shift body weight from one leg to another periodically, and don’t use one side excessively. It’s easier on the body to stand with a wider gap between the feet. This increases the base of support. Keep the hips squared forward, with body weight evenly distributed on both feet. If leaning against any support (wall, chair) ensure the back is tall and the hips balanced.
If you get up with a sore back, or are getting one for no reason, pay attention to sleeping posture and the sleeping surface. Incorrect sleeping puts undue stress on the spine and all muscle groups alongside it.
Correct it: Use a firm mattress that doesn’t give under bodyweight. Flip and rotate it periodically. If sleeping sideways, use a small pillow to support the curve of the neck and one between the legs to help maintain alignment. If lying on your back, a thin pillow below the knees helps similarly.