It’s tough to maintain good posture these days as we spend so much time slouched over a desk with our faces into our computers and with our heads bent down to stare at our phones. You may not realize it but our excessive use of technology has a major impact on our health and poor posture is one of them.
Bad posture has numerous physical and mental problems. Our bodies were designed for us to use them, to engage with the environment physically but with the integration of technology in our lives, we barely move at all. We sit for hours at work, we sit when we drive and then we go home and sit in front of the TV too. We spend so much time sitting, no wonder the majority of us have bad posture.
Bad posture disrupts your breathing as it prevents the lungs and diaphragm from expanding properly. It also restricts the flow of oxygen and blood. This is also why exercise is so much tougher when you have bad posture because you require higher levels of oxygen and blood.
In addition to reduced oxygen and blood levels, bad posture can lead to severe neck and back pain. It disrupts your body’s balance and increases pressure on your lower back.
Poor posture also affects you mentally too. A study conducted by San Francisco asked students to walk down the aisle in different postures. The students that were slouched when walking, experienced feelings of stress and depression.
Correcting your posture requires you to be conscious of how you walk and sit. As a woman, you can also use the help of corsets to correct your posture until your body relearns it.
There are also exercises that will aid in strengthening your back so it can hold your body up again. For those of us who are short on time, try the following simple exercises to help you fix your posture:
1 Shoulder rolls
It may seem a little silly but you’ll be surprised to see how much relief you’ll feel when you’re doing it. As you sit in a chair while you work on your laptop, your shoulders are forced to remain in a fixed position and stiffen up. Simply rotating them back and forth will loosen them up and help you relieve some of the tension you’d been building up during the day.
Seat yourself on a comfortable spot, inhale and roll your shoulders forwards while raising them all the way to your ears and then dropping them as low as possible.
2 Open up your chest
With all the slouching you do, it feels good to stand upright with your arms opened wide on either side. Breathe out as you slowly rotate both your hands at your wrists. Do this 5-10 times and then rotate backwards.
3 Pyramid Pose
To help you straighten your back after you’ve been sitting for too long, put one leg in front of the other and bend your back down over the front leg making sure you’re not curving it. While pushing forward with your hips, clasp your forehands behind your back. Do this for 5-6 minutes before switching sides.
4 Chair Pose
Sitting on a chair for too long is bad for your back but try sitting in the air for a bit. Stand with your legs slightly wide apart, stick out your bottom and bend down like you would if you sat on a chair. This will force you to stretch out your lower back muscles as it supports your upper body.
5 Side Bend
Stand straight up, place your left hand on your head and then guide your head towards the right side of your body until you feel the stretch on the left half of your body. This simple stretch will help you realign your body after you’ve been sitting/standing with bad posture for a few hours.
These simple steps are perfect for when you take a quick break at work or before you go to bed after a long day. You’ll feel less tension in your back and your health will improve too.