How's Your Posture?
By Sara Butler
Good posture ticks off all the boxes – it helps you look better and feel better, it increases your energy, helps you breathe easier, and improves your circulation. It also helps you to put less stress on your joints, meaning normal wear and tear will not be accelerated. With so much good that can come from good posture, why do so many people struggle with it? Maybe it’s because they don’t know what good posture is or how to achieve it. Here’s a quick rundown of what to look for in your posture!
Do You Pass the Posture Test?
There are markers to indicate whether or not your posture is good or bad. You can look for the following in front of a three-way mirror or have a friend help you assess them:
- Look for alignment – When you stand up straight are your head, hips, shoulders, and ankles in a straight line on top of one another? Your knees must also be bent slightly and your feet should be about as wide apart as your shoulders.
- Look at the back – When you look at your back, your shoulders and hips should be level. If one side is higher than the other, that can indicate an imbalance that may become a problem. Also look at your shoulder blades; if one sticks out more prominently than the other, that also indicates a problem. When your back is healthy it’s also symmetrical.
- Look from the side – When you look at your profile, your neck, and lower back should have a curve in the direction of the front of your body. Your mid-back should curve to the back. If your postural curves aren’t correct, that can indicate a big problem.
Tips for Good Posture
Good posture can be easy to achieve if you work at it a bit. You should:
- Choose bags wisely – If you carry a bag around a lot, you should look for one that distributes weight evenly on your body. A messenger bag that hooks onto the opposite side as the bag or a backpack are great choices.
- Choose shoes wisely - Try to stay away from high heels if you can. Heels shouldn’t be over one inch so they don’t throw off your body’s balance and cause pain in your lower back.
- Move around – Don’t sit in one position for too long during the day. Set a reminder on your computer or phone to get up at least once an hour and move around, do a little stretching, and then assume another position.