Most people know that having good posture is important to our wellbeing. We can recognize proper and improper posture on others, identify our sources of pain as likely being linked to our posture, and occasionally catch ourselves in the act of slouching.
Still though, we end up with soreness, and we don’t quite always understand why posture is so influential. This guide will help explain you understand more about your posture and how to correct it.
Why is proper posture important?
Maintaining correct posture helps up go through life with less strain on our bodies. When you don’t keep good posture, you may experience misalignment of your bones and joints, stress on your back and neck, muscle fatigue, and muscle strain.
Keeping proper posture while standing, sitting, and even sleeping is important to maintaining a greater quality of life. Learning to correct each will be vital to your health, even if it feels a bit unnatural at first.
How to correct your sitting posture
If you have to sit for long periods of time on a regular basis, correcting your sitting posture will be critical to avoid becoming sore. If you can, avoid sitting for long periods in the same position. When you do, it’s easy to forget to be conscious of your posture and start slouching. To try to prevent this, you should get up at least once an hour. It’s also a good idea to use a chair that offers support to your back, so even when you aren’t actively thinking about your posture, you’ll have a better chance of sitting correctly.
The positioning of your feet is also important. Be sure to keep your feet planted on the floor, or on a footrest if your feet don’t reach the ground. Keeping your feet on the ground or a footrest will help reduce pressure on your legs and lower pain and promote circulation. You’ll also have better posture if you keep your legs uncrossed and avoid letting your ankles sit behind your knees.
How to correct your standing posture
When you have to stand for long periods of time, you’ll need to make sure you’re maintaining correct posture to avoid feeling sore and uncomfortable. When you are stuck standing for extended time periods, try to shift your weight between your feet or from your toes to your heels so you don’t become stiff in the same position.
Think about your standing posture from the top-down. Start with your head. Is it level? Are you pushing it forwards, backwards, or sideways? If so, move your head to a neutral position where your earlobes are in line with your shoulders and your chin is parallel to the ground.
Next, pull your shoulders back and stand up straight. Your arms should naturally hang to the sides of your body, and you should have a slight bend in your knees to alleviate pressure. Separate your feet to an even shoulder-width apart and focus your weight onto the balls of your feet.
To continuously maintain your standing posture, envision a string is attached to the top of your head pulling you upwards when you start feeling yourself slouch.
How to correct your sleeping posture
Sleeping posture is not something we often think about. Besides, we aren’t conscious while we’re sleeping.
This is why having the right mattress is critical for maintaining correct posture in your sleep. It’s important to have a mattress that is supportive, responsive, contouring, and comfortable to help your spine stay in a natural alignment while you sleep. You won’t want a bed that’s too soft or too firm. Stick to those in the middle range.
You should also consider your pillow, especially depending on your sleeping position. A stomach sleeper should avoid using pillows and should avoid sleeping on their stomach altogether as it puts a lot of pressure on the lower back. Side sleepers can benefit by using a pillow between their legs, and back sleepers should use one under their knees.
All of these changes may feel unnatural at first, but that’s just further proof that you’ve become accustomed to incorrect posture and need to make a change. After becoming more conscious of your posture and working to correct it, you’ll start to feel more natural and will experience less pain.
Author’s bio: Laurie Larson is a freelance writer based in NC who writes on home, health, and lifestyle topics.