Life Hacks Worth Learning So Your Posture Doesn’t Hold You Back
By Sara Butler
Chances are that you’ve heard something about your posture your entire life. It may have started at home when your mom told you to sit up straight -- or maybe at school when your teacher told you the same thing. Good posture is vital to your continued health and wellness, which is why it’s a good idea to understand proper posture no matter where you are or what you’re doing.
You see, there’s simply not one type of posture that applies to all situations. During your day, in everything you do, there is a way you should hold and support your body to help support your health. Here are three common situations that often challenge good posture and the key to keeping your posture perfect during each -- think of them as posture life hacks you can apply to your arsenal.
Posture While Working
No matter where your desk is located, either at an office or at home, it’s a place that is the scene of a lot of poor posture throughout the day. Sitting down at a desk for several hours can put a lot of stress and strain on your body and make it difficult to maintain proper posture. Luckily, there are some hacks that help encourage better posture, even if it’s not something you’re actively thinking about.
Take a look at your desk. Are your eyes level with the screen of your computer? If not, it should be right at or slightly below eye level so you don’t have to tilt your neck to see it. Tilting your neck even a couple of degrees for long periods of time can put a lot of stress and strain on your neck, shoulders, and upper back, so avoid it with the proper setup.
Next, look at your chair. Is it a chair that properly supports your body by being adjustable? Both the arms and the height of any office chair you use should be adjustable so you don’t have to sacrifice the alignment of your body for comfort. If a fancy desk chair isn’t in the cards (or the budget), then you should take some extra steps to better support your body. You can do this by:
- Using a small pillow or rolled-up T-shirt as a lumbar support
- Using a footrest to take the pressure off the lower back
Posture While Doing DIY Projects
Most people have an endless list of projects they want to accomplish. If you’ve decided to start tackling your list and become a DIY warrior, then kudos to you! However, it’s important to keep a few things about your posture in mind so you don’t DIY yourself into a back injury. Some important tips for both DIY safety and posture perfection include:
- Using ladders - A ladder comes in handy for a multitude of DIY projects, but they must be used appropriately. You should always make sure you’re facing the ladder and moving it regularly, too. Don’t lean to reach something and always keep your hips, knees, and shoulders pointing in the same direction.
- Warming up - DIY projects, no matter how minor, are exercise! Make sure to stretch and warm up before you get going and don’t wear clothing that is restrictive or tight. You should be comfortable and able to move freely.
- Taking frequent breaks - You can lose track of time once you really get into a DIY project, but it’s worth it to set a reminder on your phone to ensure that you’re resting for at least a few minutes each hour. This can help prevent you from being in one position too long, something that can be problematic to proper posture.
- Being careful while lifting - If you have to use something heavy, use a handcart or get someone to help you move it. Never pick up something by lifting with your back; instead, use the power of the muscles in your hips and legs while keeping your back straight. This can help to minimize the stress and strain placed on your back and help you to avoid injury.
Posture While Gaming
When you think of gaming, you probably don’t automatically think about proper posture -- but you should! Playing games while sitting in a chair is not a normal position your body was made to assume. After all, gaming is a modern activity, which brings with it risks to your posture along with your health and wellness.
Gaming requires a lot of sitting, which isn’t exactly a healthy thing. Increased sitting can lead to an increased risk of chronic illness such as diabetes and heart disease. It also happens to be bad for your spine.
You can combat poor posture while gaming by:
- Getting a good chair - If you’ve been looking for an excuse to get one of those fancy gaming chairs, then this is it! You need a comfortable place to sit that properly supports your body and reduces stress and strain. Make sure your arms, as well as back, are properly supported. A headrest can come in handy too.
- Putting limits on gaming - Remember, it’s not a good idea to sit for too long, so make sure to set a timer to remind you to get up and move around a bit. This will help to relieve pressure points that can impact your nerves and muscles as well as help to restore blood flow. Stretch, take a short walk, or simply go get a glass of water. Anything you can do to break the posture you’ve been sitting in for a while is a good thing.
- Setting up the best gaming space - Aside from a good chair, you should also set up an ergonomic space for your gaming. Any monitor you use should be at least 20 inches away from your face, so about arm’s length. It should also be at eye level. Your controller and keyboard position should allow you to keep your arms bent at a 90-degree angle at the elbows and your elbows should rest as close to your body as they can. If you can keep the controller or keyboard in your lap and use it comfortably, then that’s a great position.
Talk to the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic for more practical tips about improving your posture, no matter what it is you’re doing.
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this page are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this post is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics, including but not limited to the benefits of chiropractic care, exercise and nutrition. It is not intended to provide or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your chiropractor, physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this page.