Whilst we rarely try to carry our books on our heads as in days gone by, the development of good posture is something that is important to developing our health and aligning our mind body connection.
Unfortunately good posture is becoming something that is rarely seen. As a society our lifestyle demands see us spending more and more hours sitting in front of computers, our cars or in meetings.
Poor posture can lead to headaches, back pain, muscle stiffness and circulatory disorders to name a few.
Whilst balancing books on our heads may be useful it does not provide us with the ability to correct all issues that may be responsible for the development of poor posture. That’s why it is important to work on strengthening your weak muscles and improving your flexibility, to develop a unified approach to correcting faulty posture.
We may not all end up with the body of Mirada Kerr or the height of Michael Jordon but we certainly will notice the difference after following a few of these tips.
Tips for improving your posture
1 Practice your Pilates which strengthens your core muscles enabling you to support your spine
(Pilates breaks down faulty movement patterns and allows you to retrain the brain through motor pathways all while working up a seat and having fun!)
2 Even if you are tall grow to your full height and more – resist making yourself smaller to make others feel comfortable about their height.
3 When driving keep the middle of your ear in line with the midline of your shoulder to keep stress away from your neck. A lumbar support in your car is a great investment if you have to do a lot of driving.
4 At your desk keep your shoulders over your pelvis. Keep your pelvis neutral with your sit bones and pubic bone on the same plane. Make sure you are sitting on your sit bones and not back or forward of them. Your sacrum is not designed to sit on. Your feet should be flat on the floor – you may need a foot support if you are short. Your knees should be in line with your hips and not above. Make sure your chair is adjusted for your posture and not for that of your co-workers. If you need to, roll up a small towel to support your lower back. Get up out of your desk and walk around every 30 minutes – don’t forget to look away from the screen!
5 When reaching – take your body weight with you. Bring your pelvis closer to the object you are reaching for. Your center of gravity is closer to what you are reaching for.
6 When standing – feel your weight evenly distributed over three points in your feet. Over the ball of the big toe, little toe and centre of the heel. Wear supportive shoes. Wearing high heels although can look good adds extra stress to balls and heels of the feet. It also places strain at the top of the foot, knee, lower back and neck as it throws the body out of its natural alignment. If your shoes are overly worn replace them with more supportive shoes.
7 When sleeping – do not sleep on your front, this almost guarantees a crook neck in the morning! Invest in a supportive pillow at the correct height for your head, this will promote neck and shoulder alignment. Best position for sleeping – on your back. Make sure your pillow is under your head and not your shoulders.
8 Relax – when aiming for perfect posture – don’t try too hard! Pulling the head too far back can cause compression in the neck. Lifting the chest too high and pulling the shoulders back can cause tension between the shoulder blades. Over arching the lumbar spine when sitting can tighten the lower back muscles.
Now you have the secret to perfect posture for your body!