A constant conversation that SF Squared clients have with their trainer/coach is the importance of posture. Not only is bad posture often directly related to many issues with back pain, it also gives the impression to others of poor health and lack of confidence. For us, it’s not surprising why we make it an integral part in building a great foundation of health.
Because back injuries are the most common injury among humans, it’s so important to avoid movement or posture that can put constant strain on it. When bending down to pick up a heavy object, it’s always a good idea to check your alignment when using your legs, and make sure that strain to the lower back won’t occur. It is just as true when checking the constant strain, that your own body weight puts on you. We’re not always conscious of our own body posture; but to help be more aware, just take a moment and think about the weight of perhaps, twenty lbs. What could only be considered a fraction of your body weight. Now, think of how that feels, when it hangs around your neck. Making you pitch forward, or backward. What would that feel like holding that position all day? That’s what bad posture is. A constant weight on your shoulders. Understandably, that’s why when we look at people that exude confidence, they do not slouch in any way. Letting our bodies slouch can happen gradually over time, sometimes because we may not have parents who stress the importance of posture, or examples to teach us how to correct it. But taking the time as adults, goes a long way in improving our overall long term health and our confidence.
While changing a person’s perspective of themselves, and relieving strain while training and in everyday life; proper posture is overall the easiest and cheapest way to improve one’s body. It also makes a big difference in being able to recognize your muscular development or fat loss in an objective way. All it takes is being conscious of your body for five minutes. Whether when sitting at work, standing in the subway or elevator, or walking by your reflection in a store window. Opportunities to check posture are all around. Just be conscious, and think POSTURE!!!
The following are some quick tips on how you can be smart about your posture from pickthebrain.com/blog :
- Push your hips back into the chair so that you can maintain the arch in your lower back while sitting.
- Roll your shoulders back and down and keep your chest up. In short, do not slouch.
- If you’re sitting at work, then position your monitor such that your head is in a neutral position and eyes looking straight ahead of you.
- Position your keyboard so that your forearms and elbows are resting on the desk or on the support of your chair.
- In order to avoid knee problems, make sure that you maintain a 90 degree knee angle and that your feet are flat on the ground. Avoid crossing your legs.
- Regardless of how well you maintain sitting posture, the human body is not built to sit for long periods of time. Because of this, you need to take a break every 20 minutes. This doesn’t have to be a long break. Just get up, walk around for 20/30 seconds and get back to work.
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Now, lean forward so that you know what it feels like to have your body weight on your toes. Next, lean back so you know what it feels like to balance your body weight on your heels. Notice that there is a tendency to slouch in this position. The body hangs back, the abdomen protrudes and the spine bears the entire weight. Balance your weight on the balls of your feet and evenly on both feet.
- Learn to stand tall i.e. roll your shoulders back and down and keep your chest up. Maintain a neutral head position by looking straight in front of you.
- Don’t put your hands in your pockets as this leads to slouching.
- Start by standing with proper posture using the steps described previously.
- Roll through the step from heel to toe and push off the toes for the next step.
- As you walk, make sure that your body weight still remains on the center of your foot.
- If you want to walk faster or run, make sure that your arms are close to your side and make a 90 degree angle at the elbow but do not clench your fists. Even otherwise, bending your elbows slightly makes walking more efficient.