If you’re struggling with poor posture, there are things you can do to help. Try to keep the following in mind:
1. Sitting posture
Ensure your back is aligned against the back of your chair. Avoid slouching or leaning forward, and keep your shoulders straight. Knees should be even with your hips when sitting, with both feet flat on the floor – use a footrest if necessary.
2. Standing posture
Try to stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, and avoid locking your knees. Keep your weight mostly on the balls of your feet, with your shoulders upright and your head level. When standing for long periods of time, try to shift your weight from one foot to the other, or rock from heels to toes. Avoid regularly wearing high-heels as they can alter your overall body alignment.
3. Driving Posture
Your seat should be the correct distance from the pedals and steering wheel to avoid leaning forward or reaching. Sit with your back firmly against the seat for support, and adjust your headrest, so that the middle of your head is supported and kept upright.
4. Move around!
As our muscles become tired, we end up slouching or slumping, which puts extra pressure on the neck and back. In order to maintain a relaxed yet supported posture, change positions frequently. For example, make an effort to get up from your office chair every hour – go to the loo, walk to the printer or make a cup of tea. On long drives, always stop, even if you don’t need to – a walk around a service station car park will do you a world of good, for your body and mind!
5. Exercise!
Regular exercise helps to condition your muscles, and specific strengthening exercises will help the muscles surrounding your back to stay strong and prevent strain or injury. Have a chat to one of our Personal Trainers about specific exercises you can do to help stretch and relax the major back muscles – especially if you work in an office or drive a lot. Some people find that meditation or other forms of mental relaxation are effective in helping relax the back muscles – so jump into one of our holistic classes on offer. However, if you continually suffer from back ache, consult a specialist, as you may benefit from chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation.
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