Chiropractors often talk about the importance of good and correct posture. The way you hold your body influences what feels comfortable and what doesn’t. Sitting or standing with poor posture can cause many problems including neck pain, back pain, shoulder aches, headaches, fatigue, and limited movement. However, for some people, bad habits and a lack of knowledge make it difficult to maintain this healthy position. Thus, it is easy to make these mistakes without realizing it, and as a result, our joints and muscles don’t get as much movement as they should. Unfortunately, it will take a while before the body gets any signals to let you know that you have been maintaining poor posture.
Now, it’s time to recognize the most common posture mistakes and break your bad habits!
Staying in one position for way too long
This is the number one posture mistake! We all do this every once in a while, sometimes unknowingly. Ideally, our bodies need to move and make postural changes many times throughout the day, because staying static will lead to discomfort, and eventually, pain. Even staying in a “good” posture for too long is not really that good for you.
So, what is the solution? Fairly simple—move around and change your body’s position every 30 minutes. Do some stretching, walk around your apartment, maybe a little exercise… anything helps!
Fixating our gaze downward for too long
Now, this poor posture is very common among us, from students to working adults. We’re all required to use our cellphones and computers to study and work. When we do that, the typical posture we hold is tilting our heads forward for too long. Our heads are heavy, and maintaining the incorrect posture for a long time puts a lot of tension in the neck and upper back muscles, rather than the weight being evenly supported by all the muscles of the spine.
How do I fix this? Well, your head is supposed to be straight with your line of sight and parallel to the ground beneath you. So, what you can do is hold handheld devices directly in front of you at eye- or shoulder-height. If you work with your computer or laptop often, raise your screen or stack books underneath it to ensure that you can keep your neck and spine in a neutral position.
Slouching while sitting or standing
Sometimes, slouching does feel comfortable. But when we do it, it means we’re not engaging our core (abdominal) muscles to support our spine. If your belly pushes forward and your lower back pushes backward every time you sit or stand, it can lead to lower back issues.
Fix it by sitting or standing with your back straight and pulling your belly button in toward the lower spine to engage your abdominal muscles. However, refrain from doing it too much, because it may curve the lower spine backward.
Sleeping in a wrong position
I know, I know… it feels impossible to control how and in what position you should sleep. Even so, there are a few simple things you can do to train your body to sleep in the correct posture. First, your mattress choice is important! Go for a firmer mattress. Next, the ideal sleeping position is keeping your spine straight, but sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs is alright, too. You can also sleep on your back with a pillow under your knees. Make sure to not sleep on your stomach, though, because it may cause your neck and lower back to be strained.