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Ways to Improve Your Posture

By Debra Rodzinak

Proper posture not only looks good, but it feels good to the spine and back.  However, many people walk and sit with poor posture.  Some ways to improve posture involve being aware how your posture is at different times.

Don’t Slouch

Slouching may be a bad habit, but it puts undue stress on the spine.  Even more important is the fact that slouching can, over time, push the internal organs together and make it difficult for the lungs and intestines to work properly.

Stand Up

Standing up tall is a terrific way to make sure posture problems don’t occur.  An added bonus is that standing up straight makes you look slimmer.  To stand up straight, hold the head straight and tuck the chin toward the chest.  Pretend there is a wall against your back.  The ears should be centered over the shoulders.  Imagining there is an invisible string that runs up your spine, out the top of your head, and continues straight up toward the sky. 

Check Your Desk Posture

If you sit at a desk for long periods of time, make sure you use all parts of the chair.  Don’t sit on the edge of the chair, but place the back on the back of the chair with the feet flat on the floor.  Fight the urge to slouch forward, even if it feels good. Take a lumbar cushion or rolled-up towel to place in the small curve of the back.

Tech Neck

Using technology all day long can cause the user to tilt the head forward and down, especially if using a smart phone.  Try to make it a habit to hold the phone at eye level when texting or surfing.

Wear Proper Footwear

For women, heels can be a temptation, but they are a no-no for good posture.  High heels like pumps or stilettos force the base of the spine forward overarching the lower back.  If the spine is not lined up correctly, pressure is placed on the nerves which causes pain in the back.  Another downside to high heels is the extra weight placed on the knees.  For everyday wear, try a lower heel.

Sleep

People spend one-third of their lives in bed.  Make sure that the mattress you sleep on is firm and helps the spine hold a natural shape.  Ensure that the pillow makes the head level with the spine.  If you sleep on your back, you can try ditching the pillow and try a smaller one placed under the neck.

 

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