5 Simple Ways To Help Your Posture
Why Do People Slouch? (Why YOU Slouch)
There’s no doubt about it, slouching is a big no-no health-wise. So why do we(you) do it?
Simply put, it’s less work. You are able to relax more joints and muscles when you allow your body to slide a little further south in that chair. It requires less energy to maintain a constant slouch than sitting upright.
It also requires less thought! Have you ever been mindlessly watching TV or scrolling through your phone, only to realize you’d spend the last 20 minutes looking like someone who’s had their spine removed?
Don’t be embarrassed, it happens to the best of us. However there are some very serious consequences to chronic slouching that you should know. And there’s a simple escape if you read on…
You, um… may want to sit up for this.
Consequences of Poor Posture
Slouching can negatively impact your health in the following (and in some cases, very surprising) ways. Here are just a few:
- Spinal Curve -- Did you know that when you’re sitting upright, your spine isn’t actually straight? There are three main spinal curves: one in your neck, one in your upper-to-mid-back, and one in your lower back. Poor posture distorts these curves, straightening out the curve in your neck. These changes to your spine’s natural curves affect the entire body.
- Headaches -- Constantly holding your head forward adds more stress to your neck and back. “People who sit at a desk for a long period of time tend to roll their shoulders in and hang their head forward,” says Dr. Jason Queiros, a Chiropractor at Stamford Sports and Spine in Connecticut. “Every inch you hold your head forward, you add 10 pounds of pressure on your spine. Let’s say you’re leaning into your monitor by just two inches, that’s 20 extra pounds that your back and spinal column have to endure.” And over time, your back and neck muscles become overworked and tired. Then, when you finally relax them (when you get home from work, let’s say) the muscles tense up and can spasm, resulting in nasty tension headaches.
- Back Pain -- This tends to manifest itself in the lower back, and women feel it more often. But make no mistake, if your posture is bad enough, you’ll feel it eventually… women, men, and even teenagers experience back pain as a result of bad posture.
- Lack of Balance -- You don’t have to be a tightrope walker to be concerned about balance. And if you tend to slouch to one side, that forces those muscles to overcompensate. With poor posture, one half of your body is tight, the other loose. That will throw your balance totally out of whack.
- Cardiovascular Health -- The pressure you put on your stomach when you slouch squeezes your heart and lungs, impairing circulation and making it more difficult for your heart to do its job. As a result, bad posture reduces the oxygen that gets to your tissues.
- Less Attractive -- That’s right, even though you watch what you eat and exercise regularly, a bad posture can make you look less desirable. According to Dr. Liza Egbogah, chiropractic doctor and clinic director of boutique chiropractic clinic The[Fix], bad posture can make you seem shorter, older and even fatter. “One of the biggest things we see is people slouching. When you are slouching, not only does that push your head forward, roll your shoulders forward and give you a hunched back, it also makes you appear shorter and less confident,” she explains.
Causes Of Slouching (Slouching is automatic- So is the fix)
The really tricky part about slouching is that it can be difficult to recognize you’re doing it in the first place. It can be hours before you catch yourself sliding halfway off a chair and realize your whole body feels like jelly.
So you need to be on the lookout! Here are the most common times you may be using bad posture without even realizing.
Sitting at your computer -- Our bodies are designed for movement, not sitting for long periods of time. When you plop yourself into a standard office chair for 5, 8, 10-plus hours, you’re putting your whole body in a state where you strain one muscle group so that another can relax. Over time, slouching is inevitable.
Spending time on your phone -- Most people tilt their heads to one side while talking on the phone, which strains the neck muscles. More commonly these days, though, is the forward slouching of the head that occurs while someone sends a text or scrolls through their social media feed. This, too, spells bad news for your posture.
Slouching while driving, flying or riding public transit -- A long flight in a cramped seat may not be ideal, but there are some serious consequences when you compromise your posture.
Studies show the vibration created by engines can oscillate at a frequency that relaxes and sedates your muscles, so your body is in a poor position and your muscles have to work extra harder to support you.
Overweight backpacks or purses -- Remember when we discussed how even teens are susceptible to poor posture? Here’s a big reason why. High schoolers can find themselves carrying 10 pounds of books (or more) at one time. And large purses can be dangerous as well: these posture killers can be particularly stressful, especially those worn always over the same shoulder.
Too much stress -- It’s been said that with too much stress, our bodies can become a window to our thoughts. Stress can cause your "fight or flight" mechanisms to work overtime. This creates excess tension in the muscles you use the most. These are the exact muscles that affect your posture.
Benefits of Good Posture
Now do we have your attention? Good! Because it’s not all bad news. When you have a proper posture, not only will you make your dear mother beam with pride, you’ll be doing yourself (and your health) a favor.
Some of the advantages of good posture include:
- Less back and neck pain
- Less muscular pain
- Keeps bones and joints aligned
- Decreases ligament stress
- Better breathing
- Optimal digestion
- Reduced headaches
- Improved mood
- More energy
- Makes you more attractive!
What Is Good Posture And How Do You Get It?
Before we get into our tips for good posture, it may be a good idea to cover what that is. After all, there is a lot of misinformation out there about what actually makes good posture.
First, it’s important to remember that you have posture whether you sit, stand, walk or lie. So a lot of the characteristics of good posture you find when walking won’t be found when, say, you lie down.
Posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity while standing, sitting or lying down. Good posture involves training your body to stand, walk, sit and lie in positions where the least strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement or weight-bearing activities.
And in order to achieve good posture, you need the following:
- Good muscle flexibility
- Normal motion in the joints
- Strong postural muscles
- A balance of muscles on both sides of the spine
- Awareness of your own posture, plus awareness of proper posture which leads to conscious correction.
5 Simple Ways To Improve Posture
Alright, so slouching and overall poor posture is bad. I think we’ve established that. So now what can you do to fix it?
Luckily, there are some very manageable ways to improve your posture so that you can achieve better overall health and live with less pain.
1) Get Up And Move
As we’ve discussed, poor posture becomes more likely when we languish for long periods of time. Slouching and slumping occurs and our muscles tire out. In turn, we place extra pressure on the neck and back.
The key is to stop the problem before it starts. That means get up and move before you start sliding down the back of your chair. One strategy is to take a break from sitting in an office chair every half hour for two minutes in order to stretch, stand, or walk.
Apply the same method when you find yourself standing for a long time. Move your limbs, get the blood flowing and redistribute the tension throughout your body. This is also why it’s important to utilize rest stops on long road trips. You can afford to take a few minutes every hour to care for your body, after all!
2) Wear Supportive Footwear When Standing
Now, if you have a favorite pair of high-heeled shoes that you absolutely adore, don’t panic -- we’re not telling you to throw them away. However, you should void regularly wearing them, no matter how well they tie the outfit together. High heels can affect the body’s center of gravity and induce compensatory alignment of the entire body, thus negatively affecting back support and posture.
When you find yourself standing for long periods of time, try propping a leg up on a foot rest. You can also try wearing supportive shoe orthotics, or placing a rubber mat on the floor to improve comfort.
3) Keep The Body In Alignment At All Times
Here is how to make sure your body is in perfect alignment:
When standing, good posture is straight vertical alignment of your body from the top of your head, through your body's center, to the bottom of your feet. The feet should be relaxed with the body's weight resting on three points: the heel, the base of the big toe, and the little toe.
Whether standing or sitting straight up, align the ears, shoulders, and hips in one vertical line. And keep this in mind: any prolonged sitting position, even a good one, can be tiring after a while. Remember tip number one and be sure to move around occasionally.
It’s good to be aware of and avoid unbalanced postures such as crossing legs unevenly while sitting, leaning to one side, hunching the shoulders forward, or tilting the head. Instead of holding your phone near your navel and dropping your head, bring the phone up slightly so that you don’t need to sacrifice alignment.
Also, to finish that point… don’t spend so much time on your phone! There’s a whole wide world out there.
(Sorry to sound like your mother.)
4) Identify & Eliminate The Causes Of Poor Posture In Your Life
Becoming aware of posture and ergonomics at work, at home, and at play is a vital step towards instilling good posture and ergonomic techniques. That means it’s important to take stock of the tools and habits that make up your normal routine. Then try to identify any connections between episodes of back or neck pain and specific situations where poor posture or ergonomics were implemented.
Take your office chair, for example. More than likely you have one with a very standard design: a seat attached to a single post, with arms that attach to the sides and a single-unit back of the chair.
For decades, this has been the go-to design for chair manufacturers. And no matter how fancy they look, no matter how high the prices get… back pain still persists across the world.
It’s the tool many of us use most frequently. That means your office chair is the thing you rely on the most to keep your body in alignment, give you good posture and help you live a pain-free life.
Chances are your chair has let you down. Just like standard office chairs have let down billions and billions of people. It’s time someone fixed that.
5) (The Automatic Fix) Use A Chair That Promotes Good Posture & Keeps Your Body In Alignment
So, that’s exactly what we did.
We threw out the blueprint of the tired old office chair. We started from scratch, with the expertise of a world-renowned chiropractor and a chair specialist who has designed chairs for some of the largest companies on earth.
We developed the most advanced, most ergonomic, and most comfortable chair the world has ever seen. Already it’s gotten the attention of A-list celebs: from Justin Bieber to Danny Glover to Chelsea Handler… and even Tesla’s Elon Musk.
Introducing… The BackStrong C1 Chair
This chair is guaranteed to change not only your posture… but your mood, your energy… and your entire life.
You see, it has been our mission to provide the most advanced chair in the world so that you eliminate the pain and discomfort that comes with traditional chairs.
The aches… the pains… the constant shifting of your body to keep the blood flowing…
It throws your body completely out of alignment and wreaks havoc on your posture. And now help is on the way.
The BackStrong Chair and its Sit-In-Motion technology fixes the way you sit, INSTANTLY.
Sit-In-Motion technology is a patented, one-of-a kind seat design that’s been years in the making. Its ergonomic features softly cradle your lower back to relieve crucial pressure points and instantly improve your posture.
The BackStrong C1:
- Supports Ideal Posture & Increased Flexibility
- Engages Your Core
- Increases Your Circulation
We realized just because you’re seated, doesn’t mean your body shouldn’t be able to move. Our freely rotating bucket design immediately adjusts to your body’s every position. It automatically aligns itself beneath you to better support your back, stimulate your core, and relieve stress.
And because the bucket seat hangs from the arms of the BackStrong C1 instead of affixing to the post, your lower body isn’t stuck in one static position all day. This chair moves with you!
We have completely disrupted the seating industry -- something that could only have been done from outside of it. Our team looked at licensing deals, but there were always roadblocks to getting it done right. And we have seen firsthand that, in many cases, good chair designs that work well get watered down by marketing departments in big companies and all you get are chairs that are the same old thing.
We’re done with that.
We’ve made it our mission to fix the way you sit so that you can have better posture, better alignment and better overall health. We know you’ll love what we’ve created for you.
Here’s what the Backstrong Chair will do for you
Reduce neck and shoulder
strainwhile you sit
Support ideal posture & movementstrainto increase your flexibility
Stimulates circulation to reduce fatigue from long hours sitting
Increase of oxygenation & respirationfrom movement while you sit
How the BackStrong chair makes you feel amazing:
Our patented Sit In Motion Technology moves and aligns all 33 Vertebrae of your spine