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Tips on How You Can Improve Posture

by Patty Weasler, RN April 20, 2020 0 Comments

Woman Back Brace

Learning how to improve posture is ultimately about controlling the muscles and ligaments in your body. Over time, sitting, standing, and even using a cell phone can cause you to develop poor posture. Poor posture can cause a slew of health issues including joint and back pain. Read on to discover what changes you can make.

Checklist for Good Posture

You know you need to have good posture to avoid back pain and other ailments but what is good standing posture and how do you achieve it? Here we’ve made an easy to read checklist for good posture to help you get started today.

  • Keep your weight on the balls of your feet
  • Don’t lock your knees
  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart
  • Evenly distribute weight onto both feet
  • Keep shoulders back and upright
  • Align the head over your shoulders
  • Keep the head level by tucking your chin
  • Allow your arms to drop at your sides

Want to work on your posture while sitting as well? See how here.

Tips to Correct Standing Posture

Bad posture can be caused by multiple circumstances like tight muscles, malaligned joints, or just bad habits. The first step to correct your standing posture is to know what good posture looks like and having the best tools to help you. In this section, we’ll give you tips on how you can achieve proper posture.

  • Choose Supportive Footwear

    Wear comfortable shoes that support your feet and have low heels. High heels look great but they change how you walk, putting more strain on your muscles and create poor posture. If you are unsure which shoes are best for your foot type check out a specialty shoe store or talk to a podiatrist for advice.

  • Try a Posture Corrector

    A posture corrector is a simple strap device that pulls back your shoulders to keep you from hunching forward. It’s a physical reminder to keep your back straight and can take the strain off of your neck and upper body. Try using a posture corrector to help take a load off of your back muscles and get your body in the correct position.

  • Check a Mirror

    One of the best ways to check your posture is to look in the mirror. Stand in front of a long mirror sideways. Looking from top to bottom, check your head, shoulders, hips, knees, and feet. Your head should be level to the ground, shoulders should be back and not rounded. Look for a straight line from your hips to your feet. Your palms should be facing your thighs. Seeing all these pieces together will help you realize what good posture feels and looks like.

  • The Wall Test

    The wall test is a way to help you find what good posture looks like. It uses just a wall to align your body giving you a visual of just exactly how you should be standing. Here is the step by step instructions.

    1. Stand against a wall with your head, shoulder blades, and bottom are against the wall. Your heels should be two to found inches from the wall.
    2. Slide your hand behind your lower back, there should be just enough room in the natural curves for your hand to rest there. Pull your stomach back if there is too much room.
    3. Move away from the wall, keeping proper posture, then walk back to the wall to check if you stayed in the starting position.
  • Try Massage

    Massage is known for improving overall health and soothing soreness. But it can also help improve your posture too. Standing with poor posture for long periods can create tight muscles and pain. Massage will loosen up those tight muscles, improve your range of motion, and decrease pain. When you incorporate different posture correcting tips you can make huge strides in your posture techniques.

Lifestyle Changes

How you live your life can affect your posture. Performing repeated movements that put stress and strain on your body will take its toll in the long run. Review these simple lifestyle changes you can make to improve your posture today.

  • Maintain a Healthy Weight

    Excess weight puts pressure on joints causing pain and injury. This can lead to bad posture and force your body to compensate in ways it wasn’t intended to. If you are overweight talk to your doctor about the best way to lose weight while staying healthy.

  • Stay Active

    It’s hard when you stare at a computer screen all day to stay active and be cognizant of your posture. But that’s exactly what you need to do. Take frequent breaks from your desk to walk around, even if it’s just to fill your water bottle. Don’t let yourself go for more than 30 minutes without moving around. If you stand most of your day shift your weight back and forth between your feet to help give your joints a break.

  • Limit Phone Time

    There are times when we’re all glued to our smartphones, while we send text messages, respond to emails, or just looking through social media. But spending too much time on our phones can lead to something called text neck. Looking down, shoulders hunched, and leaning forward is what causes text neck. Limit the amount of time you spend on your phone and make a conscious effort to maintain better posture.

  • Try Exercise

    A huge part of the poor posture problem stems from weak muscles, particularly the core muscles. Begin an exercise plan that focuses on strengthening your core and use yoga to increase flexibility. Talk to a chiropractor or schedule a physical therapy session to help you determine if you have specific needs that need to be addressed.

    Try these exercises to help improve your posture.

The Effects of Poor Posture

The long term effects of poor posture can be hard to reverse. Knowing the effects will empower you to make better choices and seek help when necessary. Here are the most common effects of poor posture:

  • Arthritis
  • Back and neck pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Poor balance
  • Heartburn
  • Weakened muscles and joints
  • Pinched nerves 

Why is Posture Important?

Good posture is more than just appearance, it can positively affect your body in many ways.

  • Keeps bones and joints properly aligned
  • Minimizes wear on joints, potentially preventing degenerative arthritis
  • Reduces the likelihood of injury by lessening stress on ligaments that hold spinal joints
  • Aids in digestion and breathing
  • Reduces joint pain

Put all these reasons together and you’ve got a strong case for sitting up straight and keeping your shoulders back. Once you start making a point to use good posture you’ll develop better body awareness.

Taking the Right Precautions When Improving Posture

Taking steps to improve your posture can build the foundation for long-term joint health as well as a range of other benefits. However, before you make changes to your routine be sure to talk to your doctor first. They can ensure that you find the ideal posture plan for your needs.



Next Pages:

Posture Exercises
Patty Weasler, RN
Patty Weasler, RN

Patty Weasler is a freelance health writer and nurse. She is certified in critical care nursing and has been practicing for over 10 years. Patty lives in Milwaukee, WI with her husband and three children. She enjoys spending her time with family and educating people about their health.

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