How to Fix Bad Posture
Most of us fall into the habit of slouching over our computers or standing with all our weight on one leg at some point. Maybe you’re doing it even as you read this. But did you know these habits can cause long-term problems for your body?
Bad posture can create issues like back pain, spinal malformations, and even joint problems. It also affects your self-confidence. The good news is that while you may not have realized you were creating bad posture habits, you can intentionally form better ones to correct them.
What Causes Poor Posture?
Whether you work from home, at the office, or in an essential position, you probably don’t always think about your posture. You may have grown up with parents and teachers telling you to sit up straight, but in the face of everyday stress, it’s easy to abandon those rules.
Poor posture can happen as a result of:
• Muscle pain or tension
• Leaning forward over your computer or phone
In some cases, you can correct your posture on your own through exercises, stretching, or simply being more mindful of your body. Other times, like when you have a genetic condition that prevents you from straightening your spine, you should work with a doctor to determine the best course of treatment for you.
What Happens If You Don’t Correct Your Posture?
No one has perfect posture all the time, but if you notice yourself getting text neck, you should pay attention. Bad posture can cause problems that range from headaches to balance issues. The sooner you correct it, the better.
If you have these issues, your posture may be part of the problem:
• Back, neck, or hip pain
• Tired or aching muscles
You can also experience mental or emotional stress due to bad posture. If you’re used to living an active life, poor posture can make that difficult if it causes you pain. Some people also feel self-conscious when they notice that their posture has affected the way their body looks.
Good posture isn’t only about your physical appearance. It can also affect how you portray yourself. Sitting straight projects confidence and self-assurance, while slouching can convey low self-esteem. Your posture can influence the image you show others—and how you see yourself.
Tips to Fix Your Posture
If you catch yourself bending over your desk or your muscles get tired when you sit straighter, you can practice improving your posture with these tips:
• If you lean over your laptop or phone, stretch your body in the opposite direction.
• Stand up every 30 minutes to stretch and avoid stiff muscles.
• Exercise regularly to strengthen your muscles—including your core and back, so you have the strength to hold your body upright.
• Avoid shifting your weight to one foot. Instead, place your feet about shoulder-width apart for an even stance.
• Talk to your doctor if you have chronic or severe pain to talk about possible treatment.
Posture can be as much a part of feeling beautiful as perfecting your eyeliner or finally finding a skincare routine that works for your skin type. If you have the confidence that comes with feeling your best, you’ll look the part, too.
Sarah Wood - August 31, 2020
Asher, Anne, CPT. “What Causes Bad Posture.” VeryWell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/posture-fixes-what-are-you-up-against-297037. Accessed 21 August 2020.
“Posture.” Better Health Channel. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/posture#:~:text=The%20complications%20of%20poor%20posture,the%20way%20your%20body%20feels. Accessed 21 August 2020.
“Common Posture Mistakes and Fixes.” NHS. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/common-posture-mistakes-and-fixes/. Accessed 21 August 2020.