It should come as no surprise that your local chiropractor would be concerned about your posture. After all, chiropractic deals with the proper alignment of the spine, and this begins with how you hold your body on a daily basis. Do you pay attention to how you position your spine while sitting at your desk, walking, standing, or driving? Do you tend to hunch over or slouch? Whether you’re standing all day or spend the majority of your time in an office chair, consider these tips for improving your overall posture.
Improve Your Posture
The key to good posture while standing is aligning your spine along the center of your body. For many people, it can be helpful to imagine a string pulling them upwards from the middle of the tops of their heads. Try to keep your head balanced over your spine rather than pushed forward or backward. Another helpful tip is to keep your body weight balanced on the balls of your feet rather than on the heels of your feet, which causes slouching. If you need help practicing proper standing posture, stand with your head, shoulders, and buttocks touching a wall. Your heels should be about six inches from the wall.
It’s important to keep your lumbar spine supported while sitting, so avoid sitting in positions that do not offer lumbar support for long periods of time or invest in a pillow for added support. When you sit down in your office chair, sit with your back pushed against and aligned with the back of the chair to prevent hunching over or slouching as you sit. If you’re in the habit of sitting with your legs crossed, break it immediately. For the best posture, keep your feet flat on the floor or on a footrest. Lastly, be sure to take regular breaks from sitting! Getting up to walk around and stretch periodically is simply better for your posture and your overall health.
The old cliche of walking as if you have a book balanced on your head is actually a good piece of advice. This will keep you from slouching while walking. Just as with proper standing posture, proper walking posture includes holding your head up and square over your spine, keeping your shoulders back, and keeping your chest out. It can also be helpful to try and let your calves do a bit more work. Let your calf muscles help with your posture and balance to get some of that pressure off of your back, neck, and shoulder areas.
While you won’t be able to control what your body does once you’re asleep, there are certain things you can do to improve your sleeping posture. When you’re sleeping, you want to eliminate as many curves in the spine as possible. A firm mattress will generally provide you with better spinal support, and sleeping on your side or back tends to be the easiest on your spine. Sleeping on your stomach can stress your neck, as can sleeping on a high pile of pillows.
Help keep your spine aligned by practicing proper posture. If you need assistance with your posture, don’t hesitate to contact LIFETIME Spines in Austin for a postural analysis and/or a chiropractic adjustment.