«Sit up straight!» Our mothers told us not to be a slouch, and as always, she’s right. Bad posture can have severe effects on our long-term health. In fact, it can affect bodily functions like our digestion and breathing, and can cause migraines and nerve compression.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. As a general rule, good health directly correlates to good posture, and lack thereof can lead to chronic fatigue and lack of productivity. For people who work in an office setting, this ailment is commonplace. But it doesn’t have to be you!
So start the Year of the Monkey off right by leaving the slouch behind with these easy tips:
Prim & Proper
Proper sitting posture is as follows: feet placed firmly on the floor, knees bent at 90 degrees, and align the ears, shoulders, and hips.
Strengthen Your Core & Slouch No More
Aside from adopting regular exercise to improve general health, strengthening your core is the most basic step to good posture. Yoga and Pilates are the most effective when it comes to strengthening your core, but simple crunches can also help to build your abdominal muscles, reducing your pelvis from tilting forward.
Ping for Posture
When you’re first trying to improve your posture for the better, it’s helpful to set reminders. Post a sticky note on your computer, or set a timer on your phone. There are also a number of apps out there that will remind you to check your posture every hour. It’s also good to take some time to do some simple stretches during these breaks as well.
Doesn’t Belong In Your Lap
Most of us are not sitting at a desk that enables good posture, so it’s up to us to adjust it accordingly. A good way to measure whether your laptop is positioned at the right height can be based off the angle of your arms.
Your chin should be parallel to the floor with arms flexed at 75 to 90 degrees. If they’re too straight, then you’re sitting too far back. If they’re too bent, then your computer is too close or positioned too low.
All Pain, No Gain
Another serious cause of poor posture or slouching is injury. Many times, we’re not even aware of the injury ourselves, considering there are 77 muscles in our back. Weakened muscles can cause us to shift and sit improperly due to discomfort.
Aside from going to see a chiropractor if you think this may be the case, it’s also important to take the necessary measures to prevent injury. For instance, when you’re picking up something heavy, be sure to bend your knees and lift while keeping your back straight.