Looking down at your device. Holding your phone between your ear and shoulder. Slouching over your desk. As a society, these bad posture habits have become so commonplace that many people don’t even notice it when they’re over-stressing their spine.
Of course, you’re already well aware of the countless negative health effects that this bad habit provokes (including back pain, constricted blood vessels, and reduced breathing, to name a few). But how are you supposed to remember to straighten their posture when there are so many other daily tasks on their mind?
Simple! Check out the following quick list to learn 10 tiny daily adjustments you can make which will correct your posture with very little thought required:
1. Start with Your Workspace
During business hours, your desk should do most of the posture work. Take a moment to evaluate the current positioning of your equipment. Are your eyes in line with the top of your monitor? Do your elbows naturally rest at a 90-degree angle? Is everything within arm’s reach? Do your feet sit flat on the ground? These small confirmations will make a big difference to your spinal health.
2. Set a Reminder
Another simple yet extremely effective idea is to set an alarm for every 90 minutes, then use this cue to make a change. This can be as simple as a quick reevaluation of your seated position (sit up, uncross your legs, place your feet on the floor etc) or you can use this time to stand up for a stretch and a walk. Soon enough, these realignment actions will become an automatic habit.
3. Purchase a Lumbar Orthopedic Cushion
These specifically designed cuts of foam are strapped to your chair and then gently push into your lower back, forcing the natural curve of your spine whether you like it or not. It might take some getting used to, but your posture will only continue to improve and you’ll eventually forget that it's even there.
4. Sit on a Gym Ball
Another way to fight against your negative sitting habits is to eliminate the seat completely and replace it with a gym ball. The texture is soft on the bum, the lack of balance will build a much stronger core while you work, and you won’t be able to slouch otherwise you’ll fall onto the floor in front of your colleagues.
5. Wear the Right Shoes
Incorrect footwear (especially high heels) often place immense pressure on your spine and can cause many painful troubles down the line. Always get your shoes fitted by a professional, and look into including insoles for proper arch support when exercising, walking long distances, or even just standing around. Better yet, you should kick off your shoes at any given opportunity. This will help your body to reevaluate its movements as your feet strike the ground at a much more natural the angle.
6. Don’t Overload Your Bag
Whether a backpack or a purse, this additional burden on your frame can cause a weight imbalance especially if you’re prone to wearing the item on one shoulder only. Remove the bag whenever you can, always use both shoulders, and regularly clear its contents of unnecessary junk.
7. Sleep on a Firm Mattress
Everyone dreams of sinking deep into the softest of mattresses, but unfortunately, this concept provides very little spinal support and you may wake up stiff and in pain. You need to find the perfect balance between comfort and stability in order to hold your skeleton in line, which may include a memory foam pillow for some extra neck care.
8. Wear a Back Brace
Very few products will hold your posture in place as well as a back brace. This discrete item hides neatly under your clothing and keeps your back straight while taking the pressure off any weaker muscle groups. What’s more, it trains the spine to automatically fall into this healthy position as a default, even when the brace is no longer part of the play.
9. Get a Massage
When the pleasurable pressure of a massage is focused on the back area, then your muscles will loosen up, your blood flow will increase, and you will be able to effortlessly correct your positioning without any pain. Not to mention that it feels amazing!
While you’re seeking to improve your core muscle groups, you might as well have some fun with it too. Yoga not only relies on a strict posture awareness to activate many positions, but it will also clear your head of the day’s worries and make tomorrow’s desk duties seem all the easier.