Let’s face it; we all want to look good. Much like our clothing, our posture can either enhance or detract from our overall presentation. Good posture also helps our spine whereas bad posture can harm it. Since posture is something I’m asked about constantly, here are some tips:
- Keep your head up. Walking with your head down, staring at your computer screen for hours and/or playing a quick 45 minutes of Candy Crush on your iPad are only a few examples of poor neck posture. Try to keep your head in a neutral position (not back or forward) so that you don’t apply stress to your neck.
- Don’t slouch while driving. Unless you’re Jay-Z and filming your latest video there’s no need to lean dramatically to 1 side. Keep both cheeks on your seat and both shoulders gently resting behind you to avoid poor posture while you’re driving.
- Don’t slouch. Women especially, tell me how scared they are to “get that humpback thing my grandmother had”. Slouching forward day after day is the quickest way for you to develop that same humpback. Instead, bring your breastbone up which will draw your shoulders back into a neutral position and improve your posture.
- Improve work ergonomics. Most employers aren’t worrying if your work station is helping your spine. However, there are small things you can do to make things better for yourself. Set up your space to avoid repetitively turning your head, position your keyboard so that your elbows are close to a 90 degree angle and adjust your chair height so that your legs are also at a 90 degree angle with feet flat on the floor.
- Avoid heavy bags or backpacks. It amazes me the many items women can fit into a purse, however if the purse is too heavy than carrying it on the same shoulder over time will negatively impact posture. The same is true for computer bags and backpacks. Travel a little lighter and switch shoulders regularly to avoid putting more stress on your spine.
Poor posture leads to an unhealthy spine which carries many health consequences. In fact I see people every day suffering from problems that likely originally began from something as overlooked as poor posture. Use the tips above to improve your posture and avoid problems down the line.
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