- At a red light while driving? – Pull your shoulders back and square them up instead of keeping them rounded. Your ears should be directly in line with the center of your shoulders.
- Sitting down for the first time at your desk? Check to see if you’re leaning to far forward with your head and neck.
For people whose work involves sitting at a computer for several hours, it is imperative to cultivate healthy sitting habits. The spine is not designed to bear prolonged loads of weight in a static position, and this can cause future complications to the spinal column to develop.
When you sit on a chair, your lower back or the lumbar region of your spinal cord should get optimum support. Try and inculcate the habit of standing with your shoulders upright, which would help the head line up with the spinal cord.
You want your mouse and keyboard to be as close together as possible, with the alphanumeric part of the keyboard centered on your desk. This means you want to pay attention to the keys, not the keyboard itself—most keyboards are asymmetrical, with the number pad on the right. Instead of putting the whole keyboard in the center of your desk, keep an eye on the “B” key. You want that to be directly in front of you and in the center of your desk (or, rather, where you’ll be sitting at your desk).
If you’ve done everything right up until now, you’re in a fairly good position: your keyboard is directly in front of you and the right level for a 90 degree bend in your arms, and your monitor is at eye level so you shouldn’t be craning your neck up or down to see. In addition, you should always make sure that you:
Don’t slouch: this is an obvious one, but is pretty hard for some of us to remember. I found the biggest problem for me was that my seat back was much too far reclined. You want to be sitting up, with your back at about a 100 degree angle to your legs. By setting my seat back all the way forward and making sure I lay back against it, I’m finding it much, much easier to avoid slouching.
Keep your elbows close to your body and keep your wrists straight. This means you can’t be reaching for stuff, as I mentioned before—if you find your wrists or elbows aren’t playing nice, it’s probably because your mouse or keyboard is in the wrong position.
Keep your shoulders and back relaxed: tense shoulder and back muscles will cause all sorts of problems. Make sure they’re relaxed, which is probably going to require you not using the armrests when you’re typing. Your keyboard should already be at the right level where you don’t need to use the armrests, even if it goes against your instincts.
- To stand upright, you must balance your body over your feet. Your spine should be aligned over your pelvis, with your weight evenly distributed between your feet. Many people stand with more weight over one foot or with their weight over only part of their feet. While standing, become aware of your feet. You should feel even pressure on the balls of your big toes, little toes and heels. This is the tripod of your foot. If you feel more pressure on one of these points, you are not in alignment. Relax your toes and knees and adjust your weight so the tripods of both feet feel equal pressure.
- Keep some distance between your feet so that they align with your shoulder.
- To get an idea about how you are doing, stand against a wall. For most people everything except the head would touch the wall. This means you have a scope of improvement there. Try and inculcate the habit of standing with your shoulders upright, which would help the head line up with the spinal cord.
- Standing at the fridge to get a drink? Double check your feet and make sure they are correctly positioned. Take a couple deep breaths.
- Peeing? (if you’re a guy) Make sure your pelvis is in a neutral position and not tucked forward. Make sure that your weight is back onto your heals instead of falling forward and leaning on your toes. You should be able to wiggle your toes.
- Lengthen your spine: Adding extra length to your spine is easy, Gokhale says. Being careful not to arch your back, take a deep breath in and grow tall. Then maintain that height as you exhale. Repeat: Breathe in, grow even taller and maintain that new height as you exhale. “It takes some effort, but it really strengthens your abdominal muscles,” Gokhale says.
- Another strategy is to squeeze your glute muscles (or buttocks muscles, particularly the gluteus medius, which is high up on your bum) when you walk, since those muscles support your lower back. As a bonus, you might also end up with a more shapely butt.
3. Using A Phone
- Reset your arm position so that your skull can stay stacked on your head.
- Learn to use your eye muscles for looking at things.
- Bend your arm at the elbow and prop your elbow against your front of your ribcage, and have your phone propped up closer to your face.
4. Exercises For Better Posture
Egoscue credits this move to Vladimir Janda, a Czech physician who treated patients suffering from chronic pain or mobility issues until he died in 2002. To perform the move, you stand with one foot about two foot-lengths in front of the other. In this position, you simply raise and lower the toes of the front foot 20 to 30 times. Doing this counteracts some of the negative effects of wearing shoes all day, which can weaken the muscles of the ankle and arch. “You’ll be stunned how compromised the fascia and the muscles tissue in the feet are once you start performing the move,” Egoscue says.
Sleeping on the back, instead of side can help improve your posture, since while sleeping on back, the spinal cord gets complete support from the bed and the shoulders line up perfectly with the body.
Which kind of pillow you use is an individual preference, but a flat pillow is better if you sleep on back most of the time and the opposite is true of you sleep on the side.
You can also place one or more pillows below your knees when sleeping on the back to reduce strain on lower lumbar region.
- Back sleepers should look at memory foam, because it molds to the neck’s curve, or a water pillow, which has consistent support. A pillow under your knees can help your lower back.
- Side sleepers may also benefit from sleeping with a pillow between their knees: It helps improve spinal alignment. For your head, look for a medium-firm pillow that supports the space under your neck when lying down.
- Sleep on your stomach? Unfortunately, your sleeping style isn’t recommended at all, because of the stress on your lower back and potential for neck pain. Try sleeping with a giant body pillow in front of you to give you a similar feeling.
If your hips and waist are in a relatively straight line, a more rigid surface offers better support. The right support is medium firm and not too thick. It keeps your head and neck in a line, as if you were standing up.