Posture Perfect: Everyday habits that are causing you pain

 I come from a long line of family with poor posture. It’s in the way we sit, stand, walk, eat, read, and virtually anything else we may do. In my younger years this has never occurred to me. Now, in my early twenties, I am already starting to feel the toll that my unmerciful slouch is taking on my body.

As a Patient Care Coordinator for Comprehensive Physical Therapy Center, I find that my slouch becomes more prominent throughout the day. I start off straight, but as the day goes on my nose gradually gets pulled closer to my computer screen resulting in a hunched back and a sore neck.

Self awareness is the key to correcting any and all improper postural habits. What we must realize is that there is no such thing as perfect posture, but there are ways we can work to personally improve our own postures. So, what is proper posture?

Think about how you are sitting now as your read this blog. Is your back curved forward or hunched? If so, push the outward curve in. Next, lift your shoulders slightly, pull back, and then rest them gently. Picture placing the blades of your shoulders in their own pockets. Finally, straighten your neck. The proper way to do this is to not only lift your head, but to pull it back as well. The end result may feel unusual at first, simply because it is not habit yet.

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An easy way to check your posture is to stand with the back of your body pressed against a wall or other flat surface. Make sure that the back of your head, shoulder blades, buttocks, and heels are all touching the wall. Use this simple exercise to help increase your awareness of how your body should feel. As time goes on you will be able to wean yourself from this exercise as you progress in attaining proper posture for your body.

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Now, lets talk about office chairs. In order to maintain your posture it is extremely important to make sure that you are sitting correctly. Your feet should be placed flat on the floor. Avoid dangling your legs or tucking them under your chair. Your body, including your head, should be positioned flat against the back of the chair. You may find this difficult to maintain at first but it will become easier with practice, time, and self awareness.

An easy way to keep yourself and your posture in check is to get up frequently. You should leave your desk and walk every thirty minutes. If you find that you have trouble with this try drinking more water; this easy solution will have you getting up to refill your bottle and using the restroom more often.

Improving your posture will not only help to alleviate back, shoulder, and neck pains, but will also encourage you to introduce and maintain other healthy habits as part of your daily routine. Your entire core will regain strength and its highest potential performance no matter what the activity. Now that you realize the fundamental importance of practicing proper posture techniques it is crucial to incorporate them as often as possible to ensure noticeable results.

– Markie, Patient Care Coordinator/Marketing Coordinator

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