You’re slouching right now, aren’t you? Don’t worry, it’s something we all do.
However, studies have shown that bad posture can increase feelings of depression, zap your energy and cut off your circulation. Couple that with sitting for long periods of time, and you’ve got a health hazard on your hands.
According to a recent study published in Psychological Science, “posture expansiveness”—using one’s posture to open up the body and occupy space—activates a sense of power in the mind, making people feel and behave as if they are in charge. Interestingly, this sense of power produced by expanding posture is not related to a persons actual position of power, such as rank or title.
If you have an office job, it’s difficult to avoid the pitfalls of sitting and slouching. However, there are plenty of little tricks you can use to improve your posture gradually.
1. Keep your ears in line with your shoulders.
If you’re leaning too far forward or backward, your posture is off-kilter. Use this trick whenever you’re sitting at your desk.
If feeling tight, try shoulder shrugs: Lift and lower your shoulders up and down. The movement will loosen you up.
2. Practice small shoulder and chest exercises.
Here are a few worth trying out:
- Sit upright, then lift your arms overhead, keeping your elbows straight.
- Interlace your fingers and bend slowly to the right side, then the left side.
- Cross your left leg over your right leg. Cross your body, placing your right arm over your left leg. Look over your left shoulder and slightly twist your body. Repeat this on the opposite side.
- Stretch out your left leg, pointing your toes forward. Then point your toes upward. Repeat this five times, then do it with the other leg.
3. Uncross those legs.
The correct way to sit in a chair requires you to place your feet flat on the ground. That means no crossing your legs or sticking them out in front of you.
If making your feet completely flat is uncomfortable, prop your feet on something. A small laptop stand or some old, thick books could work as makeshift props.
5. Try using a lumbar support pillow.
A lumbar support pillow does some of the work for you by supporting your spine. You’ll be forced into the correct position every time you sit down.
For a quicker fix, use a folded or rolled-up towel.
5. Pull back your shoulder blades.
Drawing them back and down will bring your chest up and out, and help you avoid getting rounded shoulders.
A popular new solution is the back posture corrector for women & men. A latex-free adjustable design is discreet enough to wear under your shirt or blouse.
It provides back, neck and clavicle support that helps correct poor posture and relieve discomfort.
It also promotes long term muscle memory, so even after you remove it – you’ll still be standing straight up.