Posture refers to the position in which one bears their body weight, while sitting or standing. Correct posture is an essential part of a healthy living. Lack of a proper posture can result in back pains, muscular tensions, as well as reduces risk of injuries. Reasons for an incorrect posture include wearing heels, long work hours involving sitting or standing, excessive cell phone usage etc.
Good posture helps improve your body balance, develop higher flexibility, maintain a health bowl movement, and boost confidence. In order to reduce tension of the ligaments, muscles, and bones, a good posture is essential.
Common posture mistakes:
People make a number of mistakes that lead to distorting the body posture. While most can be easily corrected, neglecting them can be detrimental for muscles and bones. Some of these mistakes include:
Sitting with a hunched back:
This is often done while texting or using one’s phone. The most common posture while using smart phones is sitting with a hunched back in the chair, with the neck loosely hanging. This causes tension in the neck muscles that can eventually lead to fatigue and aches.
Improper sleeping posture:
Sleeping in the wrong posture or staying in bed for extended periods watching TV, using your phone or laptop, or reading, results in neck and back strains.
Not standing upright for extended periods of time can result in back issues in the long run.
Sitting without back support for extended hours:
Desk work involving extended hours of sitting at one place can result in back pains.
Exercises to improve posture:
While it may seem a little difficult at first, simple exercises can help improve your posture. Some exercises for a good posture include:
This exercise helps strengthen muscles of the lower back and gluts. It involves balancing the body on the feet and hands by bending the knees and lifting the hips. Hips must be aligned with the shoulders and squeezed in along with abdominal muscles before going back to the starting position on the floor. Bridges are helpful in correcting slouching and rounding shoulders, as well as strengthening core and buttock muscles.
Planks involve forming a position similar to push-ups and maintaining that position for a given time. In addition to other health benefits, planks can help get rid of slouching, correct the “Donald- Duck” posture, fix issues such as a flat back, as well as improve muscular imbalances around pelvic and hip area.
This exercise involves forming a 90 degree angle between the upper and lower body, by bending at the waist and hips and lowering the torso. Back extensions can help in correcting slouching as well as a flat back.
Side leg raises:
Leg raises involve lifting one leg/ swinging it to one side and holding it for a while before resuming normal position. The same is repeated for the other leg. These can be done while standing or lying down. Leg raises help correct standing posture, hunched back, and strengthening muscles.
Hip flexor stretches:
This is done by moving one leg forward and slowly bending it, pushing forward the other button until a stretch is felt in the hip joint. The other leg and back are kept straight meanwhile. Hip flexor stretches also help in correcting standing posture.
Standing thigh-high stretch:
Thigh stretches are done by grabbing the top of one foot from the back and pulling the heel towards the hips gently. This exercise helps correct the “Donald Duck” posture.
Including chest stretches in your workout routine can help correct many posture issues such as a flat back, hunching, rounded shoulders, as well as reduce neck stiffness.
Suspending the body and pulling it up, can help strengthen your back, core, shoulder, neck, as well as hip muscles. Pull-ups can help correct a hunched and flat back.
Other tips and tricks for a good posture:
In addition to exercise, a number of tips can help provide you with a good posture:
Improving sitting :
Sitting can be improved by following some very simple tips. Firstly, ensure having constant back support. Secondly, instead of leaving your feet handing, make sure to place them on the floor (or on a footrest). Thirdly, rest your shoulders, keep your knees below or at hip level, and ensure that your forearms are parallel to the ground. Moreover, a quick walk or stretch every 30 to 45 minutes can also help.
Using a back seat:
For people who have to sit for extended periods of time at one place due to work, using back cushions can help improve posture as well as reduce back pain.
Practicing standing upright:
Practicing standing upright may seem tedious in the beginning. But with the passage of time this would become your normal body posture. Little tricks like leaning against a wall, balancing your body mass for a few seconds can help in the initial process.
Improving sleeping / lying down position:
Doctors strongly recommend improving the practices involving lying down. These include the use of a comfortable mattress as well as an elevated pillow, higher than the rest of your body, this helps prevent sleeping on your stomach and improves circulation of the blood in the body.
If you feel like you need to improve your posture, book an appointment with the best Orthopedic Surgeon in Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT professional for your concerns.