You’re probably reading this blog hunched over a laptop or staring down at a phone and you may well have been in that position for over an hour.
Just 15 minutes of poor posture will exhaust the muscles of your neck, shoulders and upper back.
There isn’t a pill that will fix your posture but there are some easy habits you can create to improve it.
Great posture is a key element to maintaining great health. It’s up there with getting a good night’s sleep, eating well and staying active. Not only does it make you look better it makes you feel better too. You’re more alert, more productive and project more confidence to those around you.
At Swedish Posture we’re passionate about helping people improve their posture by making simple changes that will contribute to their long term health and wellbeing.
Here are seven things you can do to start to improve your posture today.
Stand tall - first things first, learn how to stand properly.
Set your feet hip distance apart and ensure an even weight distribution across your feet. Check your knees are soft and that your pelvis is level by imagining you have a bowl of water on top of it that you don’t want to spill.
Open your chest, relax your shoulders down and lengthen through the crown of your head. Whenever you’re standing in a queue, waiting for the kettle to boil or you catch sight of yourself in a mirror get into the habit of checking your posture and knowing not only what good posture looks like but also what it feels like.
Take a break - many of us lead sedentary lifestyles and forget to take regular movement breaks. Create the habit by setting a timer to remind you to stand up and move every 25 to 30 minutes.
If you struggle to know what to do with your movement break try leaving your glass or bottle of water in the kitchen so you can take the opportunity to hydrate.
Stand up - create more opportunities in your every day life to stand up. The next time you plan a meeting at work choose a venue without seats or take the seating away (you’ll find the absence of seats gives the meeting some pace too).
Swap the car for your legs for trips to the local shops and when you enter a room avoid seeking out a chair and choose to stand up instead.
Learn to breathe properly - most of us hardly think about the way we inhale and exhale and only use about a third of our lung capacity.
Abdominal (diaphragmatic) breathing is the most efficient and relaxed way of getting enough air into your lungs. Place both of your hands gently on your tummy so you can feel the rise and fall of your breath. Imagine you have a round balloon in your stomach you want to inflate. Breathe in through your nose and imagine the air going down through your lungs and continuing into the stomach, fully inflating the ‘balloon’. Exhale through your mouth and let the ‘balloon’ deflate.
Set a reminder - we all need a nudge to keep up our good habits. Using a posture corrector like the Flexi we offer at Swedish Posture will gently remind you to straighten up more often. By doing so you’ll be activating your core muscles and developing your muscle strength over time.
Our posture correctors are comfortable, adjustable and lightweight so you can wear them over or under your clothes. Order yours today.
Stretch - sitting down for too long can cause neck and shoulder pain, especially if you extend your neck forwards or tilt your head downwards to look at a screen.
Try some neck pulls to release the tension. Reach your left arm up and over your head so that your fingertips are touching the top of your right ear. Then gently press your head towards your upraised arm for 8-10 secs. Repeat on the other side. You can always use a posture trainer or workout band if you want some encoragement to stretch.