Want to improve your posture? Here’s what you should do

These basic tips are likely to give you a fair idea of what you are doing wrong, and how you can improve still.

Bad posture is akin to having a bad habit that you cannot get rid of. While you may not realise this, a poor posture has a debilitating impact on the health; back pain, cramps, neck aches, spinal dysfunction and joint degeneration, to name a few.

If you want to know what a healthy posture is, just observe a child. As we grow older, and feel bogged down by a lot of things, our posture also changes. And before we know it, we are slouching!

But, it’s not too late to get back to having a proper arch. Here are a few things you need to know, in order to improve your stance.

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First, what are the signs of a bad posture?

Experts believe that if you have rounded shoulders, a potbelly, bent knees when you stand and walk, a head that either leans forward or backward, back pain and body aches, muscle fatigue, and headache, you may be doing your body wrong by not maintaining your posture.

A bad posture can interfere with a number postural mechanisms including muscle strength and length.

Here’s what you can do instead 

* Don’t slouch: Seriously, don’t. You might not be doing it consciously, but slouching tends to add stress to the spine, which, in turn, adds stress to the bones, muscles and the joints you need to hold your backbone in place. Also, slouching makes it difficult for food to get digested. Stand up tall. Straighten up. Make an effort whenever you find yourself uncomfortably bent. Relax your shoulders and tuck in the belly. Tuck out your chin and hold your head straight.

* Don’t slump at work: Easier said than done, especially if you are neck-deep (pun intended) in work. But you can do better. Sit all the way back in your chair, place a cushion behind you to protect your spine’s natural curve. Ensure your knees are bent at right angles, and your feet are flat on the floor.

* Say no to text-neck: Text neck is when you are constantly on your phone, your neck tilted uncomfortably. Take some time off and stretch your neck. Do some neck exercises, otherwise you will strain your spine. Better yet, bring the phone to the eye level, and/or support your neck with a cushion.

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* Don’t drive low: It might feel good to recline during a long drive. But, it’s good for the posture. You can pull your seat close to the steering wheel. If needed, put a cushion behind you for support.

* Wear flats: Don’t ditch your stilettos completely, but wear them for special occasions only. Pumps and stilettos thrust the base of your spine forward, which over-arches your back. Sometimes, they also put pressure on the knees.

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