Posture check: Align yourself, for your back’s sake

Proper posture lessons for those sitting like a shrimp or going rigid like a board

You know what’s funny? Our parents taught us to stand up straight for years, only for us to end up with bad posture. Blame it on hours of carrying heavy bags and sitting all day at work, among other factors. Bottomline is having bad posture isn’t good for our spine in the long run and we need to do something about it.

In this video from TED-Ed, Murat Dalkilinç gives the pros of good posture. It explains how posture is the foundation for every movement the body makes and can determine how well the body adapts to the stresses on it.

That said, here are some easy ways you can align yourself at home.

Improve how you stand and sit

This is sometimes easier said than done, but it is the simplest solution. As much as possible, straighten your back and pull back your shoulders when you’re standing and sitting. You should also make sure to shift your weight and change positions, especially if you’re going to be in one place for a long period.

Stretch and exercise

The NHS suggests that doing exercises like planks, side-lying leg raises, hip flexor stretches and standing thigh stretches can help correct a “Donald Duck” posture. This is when your butt sticks out and there’s a pronounced curve on your lower back when you stand.

You can also try other core and buttocks strengthening exercises to correct your posture in general.

Invest in a good chair and mattress

How you maintain your posture is just the first part. Investing in a good chair and mattress is just as important because they play a part in keeping your back comfortable. Choose ergonomic chairs and firm mattresses that hold your spine’s natural shape.

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