2019 is almost there, and it’s time to make new year resolutions. We’ve prepared a list of 7 tips to help you to stay on track and successfully improve your posture.
These tips come from our experience working with thousands of users of our APECS app. Based on their advice, feedback, training routines and habits, we present you with the freshest and most useful advice for keeping your posture in good health!
These suggestions are practical, free, and accessible to everyone, so no excuses in 2019!
Tip #1: Sit properly when working
According to different studies, on average people spend over 8h of sitting every day. That is ⅓ of a day! So it’s no wonder proper posture while sitting is crucial for your health. Some of the common posture problems when sitting are:
– Slouching. A common posture sin. It isn’t uncomfortable, so people don’t necessarily notice it. It can even be pleasant if you’re tired!
– Poking your chin. Normally, people start poking their chin when they are sitting too low behind the desk, or when their computer screen is set too high on the desk. It can also be part of a forward-head posture and hunched-back.
The real danger hides in the long term. These body positions put additional stress on your body in two ways: firstly, it impacts your dis balanced muscles, further weakening them; secondly, it continuously deteriorates your soft tissues. Over time it will cause tension build up in your muscles, which will result in pain, discomfort, and even worse posture (hunching, rounded back, stiff shoulders).
How to avoid it?
You can often avoid these problems by following 2 steps:
1) Arrange your working environment.
Make sure you have an ergonomic chair, right table high, and your computer screen is not too high or too low for you.
2) Train your muscles.
If you’re hunching while sitting at the desk, it could mean that you have a weak upper back. You can strengthen them with upper back and shoulder strengthening exercises, as well as neck posture routines.
Tip #2: Sit correctly when driving
Each day, we spend over 1 hour behind the wheel, that is sitting in a particular position.
Especially when long ride is ahead, you are tempted to recline behind the wheel and pull the seat a bit back. But it is actually bad for your posture, because over time it puts additional stress on your muscles.
Try maintaining proper posture by pulling your seat closer to the steering wheel, and keeping the knees slightly bent, keeping them at your hip level. That doesn’t mean you have to “suffer” for hours. You can always use a small support pillow or a rolled-up towel behind to keep you comfortable..
Tip #3: Keep proper phone-posture
An average person spends around 3h per day on their mobile phone. To ensure that your posture doesn’t suffer from your activities, follow these two tips:
One: Avoid the ‘Text Neck’
Facebook, texting, and surfing… A smartphone is in our hands all day long. Unfortunately, when using it our first reflex is to tilt the head down. This puts pressure on your neck and spine overall. Now, we use our phones all day long, every day, so this stress build up! The solution is simple: lift the phone up to your eyes, and avoid lowering your head. It takes some time to get used to, but benefits are worth it!
Two: Don’t cradle the phone with your shoulder
It’s convenient to hold a phone between your ear and your shoulder, as it leaves both hands free. But it actually puts excessive stress on your neck and upper back muscles. This leads and increases posture imbalance between two sides of your neck. Use loudspeaker if you must.
Tip #4: Don’t lean on one leg
When you stand waiting in line, or having a chat with someone for a long time, it is pretty common to lean on one leg.
Although it feels natural and comfortable, it actually harms your posture. Normally, our body is kept upright using our core muscles and buttocks. When you lean on one leg, you start putting more pressure on one side of your body, mainly your hip and lower back muscles. This causes further imbalance of your posture, especially in your pelvis area.
Try to stand firmly on both legs, or find a place to sit if you feel tired.
Tip #5: Train your upper body and abs
Often, poor posture (like hunching, forward head) is a result of weak or unbalanced muscles of your upper back, shoulders, and abs.
For instance, hunching over your keyboard is usually a sign of tight chest and weak upper back. Thus, you should train these muscles.
On the other hand, strong abdominal muscles are a must to support a healthy back. People often ignore them, preferring to focus mainly on upper-back muscles. Next time you design your workout plan, make sure you include them!
Tip #6: Make sure you are sleeping correctly
Sleeping is the time when your body gets rest. Putting additional “stress” on it would only worsen your posture. So there are three pieces of advice that could help you to sleep correctly:
- Avoid sleeping on your stomach, because it further curves your back and neck during your sleep.
- Give preference to a firm mattress, instead of a soft one, as it will help your spine to maintain its natural shape.
- Avoid large pillows under your head.
Tip #7: Check your posture regularly
To correct your posture efficiently, you have to keep track of your progress.
Doing this will show the effects of your efforts (and give you motivation), but also point out things you missed out. Thus, you’ll be able to address them with your doctor in their initial stages, before they get serious.
And it’s not that difficult, as you can use APECS to do a quick posture analysis yourself, and share results with your doctor.
These tips are often shared by the community of APECS users, and you can use them in your everyday life to help you improve and maintain good posture.