How to Maintain Good Posture?
Good Posture is how you hold your body. It is the position in which we hold our bodies while standing, sitting, or lying down. There are two types of Good postures:
i. Static Posture
ii. Dynamic Posture
How to improve your posture:
1. Identify your motivation for having a good posture: Why do you want a good posture? Is it to improve your breathing? To boost others’ perception of you? Feel more confident about yourself? To avoid health problems? Be clear on your underlying desire so you can remind yourself of it whenever you feel lazy to do anything about your posture.
2. Pretend your body is held by a string: Use this analogy which you’ll find helpful to correct your posture. It might sound weird, but it’s pretty effective. Pretend that your spine and head are held up by a string from the ceiling all the time. If you’re lying down, pretend the string is held in a direction parallel to the ground. Focus on keeping your spine and head aligned with the string while relaxing other parts of your body. Usually, people end up tensing all other parts of their body when trying to keep the right posture.
3. Set a reminder to check in on your posture: Many of us may have the intention to keep a good posture, but we usually forget about it after like 5 minutes! A reminder in the form of a post-it note, item in your calendar, alarm, etc definitely helps. The frequency is up to you, from once a day to as frequent as every 15 minutes.
4. Get ahead, shoulder and back massage: If you have always been in a bad posture, you’ll find it’s hard to change your posture due to the hardening of your joints. I found that getting a massage loosens up my joints, which makes it easier for me into a better posture afterwards.
5. Eliminate bad habits that cultivate bad postures: This includes watching TV/reading while lying down working under dim light and sleeping on your stomach.
6. Get a good quality chair: A good chair will have a sufficiently firm and dense cushion with back support. For me, I prefer the back of the chair to run up to at least my shoulders so I can place them against it.
7. Invest in a good bed and pillow: Get a mattress that is firm and not too soft. The soft mattresses that you sink into may feel nice and comfy initially, but it’s not good for your back/posture. For your pillow, consider investing in an orthopaedic pillow. There are quite a few different designs in the market now. The most common is contour pillows, which are pillows that arch and support your head.
8. Avoid carrying heavy items: Just the act of carrying heavy items is bad for our shoulders and back. Attempting to do so over an extended period gradually leads to hunched shoulders and backs. If you are a student, you probably do this every day with all the books for classes. For professionals, it might be your laptop and work materials which you have to lunge around to and fro. If it’s not possible to reduce the load of things you carry around, you can consider getting a trolley bag or roller bag. These are convenient and are becoming commonplace.
9. Engage in exercises that strengthen your back: These include pilates, yoga, exercise balls and simple stretching. If you do sit-ups or crunches, ensure you’re using the right technique otherwise, you’ll end up hurting your back instead.
10. Get a professional assessment: If you have an extremely bad posture and a history of back injuries or backaches, it’ll be good to visit a chiropractor or physical therapist for a professional assessment. He/She can advise you on how to better take care of your back.