Having good posture is about more than looking good. It helps you to develop strength, flexibility, and balance in your body. These can all lead to less muscle pain and more energy throughout the day. Proper posture also reduces stress on your muscles and ligaments, which can reduce your risk of injury.
Improving your posture also helps you become more aware of your muscles, making it easier to correct your own posture. As you work on your posture and become more aware of your body, you might even notice some imbalances or areas of tightness you weren’t previously aware of.
You can improve your posture and spinal health by making a few lifestyle adjustments. See your doctor, physiotherapist, or chiropractor for further information and advice. (1)
Symptoms of poor posture
- Rounded shoulders
- Bent knees when standing or walking
- Head that either leans forward or backward
- Back pain
- Body aches and pains
- Muscle fatigue
Maintain good posture
- Avoid sitting in soft, squashy chairs.
- Use lumbar rolls to support your lower back when sitting in regular chairs or driving the car.
- Switch to ergonomic chairs in the office or any activity requiring you to sit for long periods.
- Make sure your mattress is supportive enough to keep your spine straight when lying on your side.
- Use a pillow that supports your neck.
- Keep your back straight and use your thigh muscles when lifting heavyweights.
Exercise for good posture (2)
- Come onto your hands and knees with your weight balanced evenly between all four points
- Inhale to look up, dropping your abdomen down toward the ground as you extend your spine
- Exhale and arch your spine toward the ceiling and tuck your chin into your chest
- Continue movement and repeat for approx. 1 minute
- Come onto your hands and knees and sink your weight back onto your heels
- Place your forehead on the floor and keep your arms extended
- Breathe deeply and relax in this pose for 1-2 minutes
- Rest your forearms on the floor, with your elbows directly underneath your shoulders and hands facing forward so that your arms are parallel
- Maintain a neutral spine, and balance your weight on the balls of your feet and elbows
- Hold for 30 seconds – 1 minute
- Start by lying on the floor with your knees bent and your feet hip-width distance apart
- Keep your knees in line with your toes and inhale to lift your hips towards the ceiling
- Press down through your heels and squeeze your glutes and abs
- Hold for 1-2 seconds, slowly lower and repeat ten times
- Lie face down, extending arms straight above your head
- Keeping your head in line with your spine, gently lift your shoulders as far off the floor as possible
- Return to starting position and repeat
Seated Cable Row
- Sit down on the machine and place your feet on the front platform provided making sure that your knees are slightly bent
- Grab the handles and pull the cable towards you, focusing on keeping your elbows close to your sides and shoulders relaxed, as you squeeze the shoulder blades down and back
- Inhale and raise your shoulders toward your ears
- Hold for a few seconds before exhaling and pulling your shoulder blades down and together
- Repeat 5-10 times
Reverse Dumbbell Fly
- Assume a bent-over position with knees and spine in a neutral position and dumbbells hanging straight down, elbows slightly bent
- Commence the movement by bringing dumbbells out to the side of the body
- Finish with the arm fully horizontally abducted, scapula retracted, and elbows still bent somewhat
- Lower under control until dumbbells are straight down