More than half of the people that live in the United States struggle with back or neck pain. While pain in those areas of the body can be brought on by a variety of things, one of the most common causes of chronic pain in the neck and back is poor posture.
Poor posture is that hunching in your upper back/neck that many people subconsciously default to when walking or sitting. While exhibiting poor posture might seem comfortable and natural in the moment, not paying attention to your posture for years can lead to permanent musculoskeletal displacement and inescapable discomfort.
Because of that, our team has decided to dedicate this whole write-up to help you better understand and learn how to fix your terrible posture.
Our hope is that, with these tips, you can avoid/correct posture issues that you’re struggling with.
What’s The Point of Good Posture?
Good posture is the practice of carrying your body in a way that optimizes its alignment. That optimization helps to ensure that your body is working the way that it should and also carries a number of other benefits like boosting your confidence and strengthening your muscles.
As we mentioned in our introduction, the absence of good posture for elongated periods of time can lead to a number of health issues. Back pain, hunched back and severe neck discomfort are among the most common side effects of letting terrible posture persist for years at a time.
How Can I Fix My Posture?
Have we inspired you to want to correct/avoid terrible posture? Good!
There are a variety of ways that you can start your body down the path of exhibiting outstanding, health-boosting posture.
Here’s what we suggest:
1. Prime Your Workstation
The vast majority of us in the United States work 8-hours per day, 5-days per week. Most of that time is spent sitting at our desk.
Sitting at your desk incorrectly every day is one of the chief contributors to posture issues in America. To avoid your work causing you health issues, talk to your manager and request an ergonomic evaluation. There may be somebody that works with your company that your manager can call.
If you don’t have access to an ergonomics professional, search online for material on how you can arrange your chair and monitors to optimize your workspace yourself.
Investing in a sit/stand desk can also be helpful in the workplace.
2. Learn How to Breathe
Most people don’t equate poor breathing with terrible posture. The truth is though that the two are closely intertwined.
When you take short, shallow breaths, your diaphragm doesn’t expand fully which can promote hunching over. Alternatively, if you take deep breaths, your body will naturally expand and get used to being stretched out properly.
To help you breathe better, be more focused on taking big breaths. Doing this will not only improve your posture but could improve your overall health.
3. Learn How to Stand
No, we’re not trying to be cheeky here. We get that you know how to stand but very few people know how to stand the right way.
Having a poor stance can exacerbate posture issues and consequently, we think that it’s important that you work on what your upright positioning looks like as soon as possible.
Most chiropractors suggest that, when standing, you keep your weight on the balls of your feet, your knees slightly bent, your feet shoulder-width apart and your shoulders pulled back.
Part of standing correctly is to avoid carrying a heavy backpack. Too big a load on your back forces you to strain your neck forward, thus contributing to Forward Head Posture. FHP is a common postural problem these days. You can tell if you have it because, in a standing position, the center of your ear is forward of the centre of your shoulders and hips.
4. Hold Your Phone Up When Using It
We’ve all done this before… Browsing our Instagram while seated with our phone at our chest and our chin pushed downward so that we can look at our screen.
That method of using your phone is wreaking havoc on your neck. It could also contribute to you forming a “double-chin”.
To switch things up, look straight ahead and hold your phone up to your face’s level. This improved means of phone use will keep your neck straight and help to strengthen your arm and upper back/neck muscles.
5. Work on Your Core Strength
One of the chief reasons why people default to terrible posture is that they feel more comfortable hunched over than standing up straight. That discomfort usually stems from lack of strength and no muscle-group is more important to good posture than your core.
Therefore, in order to give yourself the best odds of adopting and sticking to keeping your posture straight, you’re going to want to whip your core into shape.
There are tons of excellent core exercises that you can dabble in to achieve that end. Yoga, crunches, planks, high boat/low boat, and more.
See which core exercises are the most manageable for you and perform them multiple times per week.
6. Lean Up Against a Wall
Many people that are trying to correct their terrible posture don’t even know what good posture feels like. That can make it hard to gauge their progress.
The best way to check your posture and to understand what you should be gunning for is to find a wall, press your back into it and ensure that your shoulder blades are touching its surface. Then, take a deep breath and step forward.
The way that your body is being carried should closely resemble what your naturally perfect posture should look like.
7. Try Chest Puffing
Have you ever tried to make a joke out of puffing out your chest to look bigger? Believe it or not, that practice can actually do wonders for fine-tuning your posture.
Before you go out pulling your shoulders back and puffing your chest out as far as it’ll go, know that we’re not advocating for you to stand in a way that looks unnatural. What we’re suggesting is that you make an effort to hold your chest up just a bit when you’re walking to help strengthen your back muscles.
8. Stay Posture Conscious
90% of the battle against terrible posture comes down to staying conscious of when your posture needs to be corrected.
For example, if you’re reading this, you’ve probably made a couple of adjustments to your posture where you’re sitting sub-consciously. 10-minutes from now though, when you’ve forgotten about this article, you’ll likely slip back into your old habits.
We recommend that you do your best to notice when you’re “slipping” and immediately correct yourself.
The more proactive you can be when it comes to noticing and correcting your posture, the more naturally good posture will come to you.
9. Monitor Your Progress
Creating good posture habits is like working out in a lot of ways. Today your posture might be poor and require a lot of manual corrections. 3-months from now, you could look like a brand new person.
To keep yourself inspired as you work on your posture, we recommend taking pictures in the mirror while standing naturally on a weekly basis. With a little effort, you’ll start to see that your body is naturally carrying itself in a healthier, better-looking way.
10. Talk to Your Doctor
No amount of tips that you can read online regarding terrible posture can replace the advice of a physician.
Use what you’ve learned here to have meaningful conversations with nonprofessionals that can help you develop a personalized posture plan and can recommend products like starecta to net you great results while not putting your body in harm’s way. This is especially important if you’re a senior citizen or have experienced serious medical problems as a result of years of poor posture.
If a physician is out of your reach for any reason, many local chiropractors can offer helpful advice on posture. Most chiropractors work with patients that don’t have insurance and you may even be able to consult with them free of charge.
Wrapping Up Ways to Fix Your Terrible Posture
Nipping your terrible posture in the bud sooner rather than later can have profound effects on your long-term back and neck health. Our advice is to heed our suggestions above and start doing your best to maximize your posture potential.
If you do, you’ll notice that you start to not only feel better but you’ll look a heck of a lot better as well.
The world of health is a complex and fascinating one. It tends to inspire a lot of questions in curious people like you.
To get your questions answered and learn more about how you can maximize your well-being, we suggest browsing more of our lifestyle-oriented content on Florida Independent today!