We live in a world filled with many daily activities that could resort to bad posture for many people. Posture is the position of your body when you are standing or sitting. It depicts how your spine is aligned with your head, shoulders, and hips.
A person is said to have poor posture when their spine is situated in an unnatural position for long periods due to their everyday activity.
Causes of Bad Posture
Several factors cause bad posture. Sometimes poor posture may occur as a result of the combination of the following factors:
- Muscle tension and weakness:Staying in a particular position for long hours, day after day, could lead to muscle tension and weakness.
- Daily Habits:In your bid to deal with muscle spasms and weakness, your body is forced to adapt to less efficient muscle contraction patterns.
- Injury:A person could experience muscle spasms after an injury. Muscle spasms help to keep injuries stable by protecting them against further damage. However, they can also affect your movement and cause pain. The resulting imbalance between muscles that protects an injury and ordinary ones may affect body posture.
- Slouching:Bad sitting or standing position over time may affect your posture.
- Shoe choices:The type of shoes you wear could also affect your posture. Heels could throw your body weight forward, which eventually affects your posture.
Poor posture could result in the following:
- Neck, head, or back pain
- Possible injury during work, exercise, or other activities.
- Muscle or joint strain
Common Types of Poor Posture
Here are four common types of poor posture
Kyphosis refers to a situation in which there is a severe curvature of the upper back where the shoulders are rounded forward. This condition is also referred to as hunchback. Other conditions such as osteoporosis, polio could also lead to kyphosis.
The forward head is a condition that occurs when the head is positioned with ears in front of the vertical midline body. Sitting over a computer or cellphone and driving for long hours could result in a forward head or tech neck. Some of the effects of a forward head posture include immobility, headaches, neck pain, etc.
Flatback is a condition where the normal curve of your lower spine loses part of its curvature. In this position, the lower back looks straight while you lean forward. People with flatback find it difficult to stand for long periods as they get easily tired. Similarly, neck and back pain is common with flatback. The condition may be caused by degenerative conditions of the spine, back surgery, or hereditary.
Swayback is when the hips and pelvis are bent forward in front of the body midline. The posture gives an appearance of leaning back when standing up with the stomach and rear bulging.
People who sit a lot may experience swayback as the muscles in the back get tightened. Other causes of swayback are injuries, obesity, and neuromuscular ailments.
Best Exercises To Correct Poor Posture
It is never too late to correct bad posture. You can still stand upright if you can change your routines and strengthen your muscles. With the right exercise, you can correct poor posture and eliminate frequent neck and body pain. The following exercises can help improve your posture:
- Reverse Plank Bridge
This exercise targets the lower back, hamstrings, glutes, and abdominals. When done correctly, the reverse plank bridge engages muscles around the core area. A strong and balanced core helps to improve posture and enhances mobility. Reverse plank bridge helps in performance in a variety of sports and other physical activities.
- Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you.
- Ensure you position your palms with your finger stretched- out wide on the floor just outside your hips.
- Clutch your palms and lift your hips and body forward toward the roof.
- Look up to the roof, point your toes and ensure your arms and legs are straight
- Tuck your chin
- Push your chest up and extend your spine. Stay in that position for at least 30 seconds.
What to avoid
- Avoid hyperextending your knees and elbows. You would have to end the exercise once you notice your body has begun to sag.
- Avoid tilting your head forward or back. Keep your head and neck in line with your body to prevent neck strain.
You can improve your posture by planking correctly. Planking is also known as the Hover exercise and targets the abdominal and core muscles. Strengthening the core muscles can help to reduce the stress on the joints and allow you to achieve an improved posture.
- Facedown with your forearms and toes on the floor and elbows directly under your shoulders.
- Keep your body straight line from your ears to toes without bending.
- Remain in this position for at least 10 seconds if you are a beginner. You can increase your workout time to 20, 30, 45 seconds over time.
What to avoid
- Ensure you keep your shoulders down and wide to avoid putting so much weight on your arms.
- Avoid leaning your neck up to prevent straining your neck.
- Child's Pose
The child's pose exercise targets the hamstrings, glutes, and spines by stretching and lengthening them. It helps to reduce tension in the lower back and neck and enhance better posture.
- Sit on your shinbones with your knees together and your heels splayed out to the side.
- Tuck forward at your hips and move your hand out in front of you.
- Plunge your hips back down toward your feet.
- Gently place your forehead on the floor.
- Ensure you keep your hands extended or rest them along your body.
- Breathe deeply into the back of your rib cage and waist.
- Remain in this position for up to 5 minutes while you continue to inhale deeply.
What to avoid
- Ensure you have the supervision of an experienced teacher to guide you to prevent knee injury.
- Hip flexor Stretch
Hip flexor stretch exercise is great for the hips as it helps improves balance and coordination, thereby enhancing posture.
- Take a kneel with your right knees on the ground
- Place your left foot and bend your knee at a 90 degrees angle.
- Ensure you keep your back straight and chest forward, and head upright
- Place both hands on your left thigh.
- Gently press your hip forward and remain in the position for up to 20- 30 seconds.
- Repeat the stretch on the right side
- Mountain Pose
Mountain poses exercise, also known as Tadasana, is a foundational yoga pose for all standing poses. This exercise helps improve posture by strengthening your legs and creating good body alignment.
1.Stand upright and separate your feet hip.
2.Keep your feet and calves rooted down into the floor.
3.Spread your weight evenly through both feet.
4.Keep a subtle bend in your knees, squeeze your thighs and angle your tailbone down.
5.Broaden your collarbone and ensure your shoulders are placed over your pelvis.
7.Drop your shoulders down and back, so your chest tilts forward.
8.Maintain your shoulders in a relaxed position and allow your arms to fall to the sides of the body with your palms facing forward.
9.Take 5 to 10 breaths once you are sure all your alignments are intact while remaining in the same position.
Posture characterizes the body's position when sitting, standing, and lying down. Several factors such as slouching, high heels shoes, injury, etc., can resort to bad posture.
Having a good posture helps to improve your self-confidence and reduce the stress on muscles and joints.
With the right exercise, you can correct bad posture and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
If you are suffering from poor posture, slouching and joint pain due to poot sitting posture then you may want to consider purchasing a posture corrector! Currently, we stock four styles & types of posture correctors: