How to Turn a Slump Into Perfect Posture
By Sandy Schroeder
How would you rate your posture, and that of your friends' and family's? Slumping has become the norm as we hunch over our phones and keyboards. If you suspect a problem, you might start with pictures of yourself at the keyboard or while standing in line. Then take pictures of your family. Post them on your family bulletin board and make posture a topic at your house. You might post Harvard Health's definition of posture and take turns rating each other.
- Stand up straight
- With chin parallel to the floor
- Roll shoulders up, back and down to be even
- Keep the spine neutral without flexing or arching
- Keep arms at sides with elbows straight
- Brace abdominal muscles
- Keep hips even
- Point knees straight ahead
- Divide body weight evenly over feet
- When you sit keep shoulders, hips and knees at even heights with feet pointing straight ahead
What Good Posture Does for You
First, you will feel better and look better. At the same time, you will gain power in golf, tennis, running, dancing or skiing, and lower your risk for injuries. You will also pick up speed as you roll through your daily tasks.
What You May Need to Overcome
If you find it is harder than you expected to just stand up straight, here are some of the things you may need to fix.
- Tight shortened hip muscles pull your body forward and tight chest muscles pull the shoulders into a slump.
- Weak core muscles or lower leg muscles impact your balance tipping the body forward.
You may want to work with a trainer at your gym to find the best posture exercises to correct your specific problems. Here is a starter exercise from Harvard Health.
The Wall Slide
This simple exercise can loosen the tightness in the back and shoulders that cause slumping.
- Stand against a wall with tailbone, shoulder blades and head touching the wall.
- Place hands on the wall at shoulder level with elbows bent at 45-degree angles and palms facing forward.
- Gradually raise arms up the wall and raise hands as far as you can keeping shoulders, tailbone and head against wall.
- Slowly return to the starter position. Exercise should take 5 to 10 seconds and be done 8 to 12 times.
As always, when you begin new exercises, check in with your doctor for pointers. If you feel your efforts are working, keep right on going to make them a permanent healthy habit.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Zionsville, Ind.