How can you fix bad posture? If you’re asking yourself this question, you’re already on the right track. Let’s take a look at the steps to start fixing your bad posture.
The spine is one of the most important parts of our body. Without it, we wouldn’t be capable of standing, sitting, or walking. With that being said, it’s essential to keep our spine in good condition.
Nevertheless, the modern-day duties and jobs usually have us sitting in front of the computer or in a car most of the day. As a result, people don’t get enough movement throughout the day and often end up having bad posture.
Having bad posture can lead to lots of pain and numerous health issues. So, if you have bad posture, you’re surely interested in learning whether it’s possible to fix it. Keep reading to find out all the details!
What is Good Posture?
Before we move on to bad posture, it’s important to define what good posture really is. Namely, good posture is the optimal position of how we hold our bodies while standing, sitting, or even lying down. It focuses on determining how we align our spine with our head, shoulders, and hips. Still, posture can be both good and bad.
Good posture trains our body to stand, sit, walk, lie down, or perform any other activity correctly. This means we’re choosing body positions that’ll put the least strain on our muscles and ligaments while performing these activities. Some benefits of good posture are:
- Decreasing muscular pain and backache;
- Using less energy to complete the same activities;
- Preventing fatigue due to the efficient use of body muscles;
- Keeping bones and joints in good alignment for proper muscle use;
- Reducing wearing and tearing of joint surfaces that often lead to arthritis;
- Decreasing the strain on ligaments located in the spine;
- Preventing fixed spine position in abnormal body positions;
- Preventing pain, injuries, and other health complications.
Now that you’re aware of how big of an impact posture can have on our body and long-term health, it should be clear why we have to do all we can to fix it if it deteriorates.
Still, there’s no universal perfect posture that fits every person on this planet. Since each body is unique, different postures will ensure people hold their bodies correctly, regardless of whether they’re moving or standing still.
As long as you hold your spine in a neutral position, meaning that muscles, joints, and ligaments are aligned to reduce stress on them while keeping you flexible, your posture should be helping you maintain your balance and reduce fatigue.
There are two posture types you should pay special attention to — dynamic and static posture.
On the one hand, dynamic posture focuses on posture during dynamic activities that typically involve a lot of movement, such as walking, running, or simply bending over. Even though most of us complete these activities automatically, without thinking much about them, our dynamic posture can greatly determine how well we distribute the work to our muscles.
Good dynamic posture minimises the strain on muscles, ligaments, and tendons while simultaneously reducing fatigue.
On the other hand, static posture focuses on posture that doesn’t involve a lot of movement, such as sitting, standing, or sleeping. As people spend more time doing static activities than dynamic ones, static posture is becoming the leading cause of the growing number of body posture problems and chronic health issues.
Why is Bad Posture so Bad?
Now that you know more about posture, the point of good posture, and the key differences between dynamic and static postures, it’s high time we focus on bad posture as well. Bad posture is, without a doubt, a threat to our overall health and capabilities. But, what exactly makes it bad and how serious are conditions caused by bad posture?
Participating in both dynamic and static activities can lead to numerous health complications if our body posture isn’t correct. Some of the main consequences that bad posture can lead to:
- Misalignment of your musculoskeletal system (involving both muscles and skeleton);
- Rapid wear of the spine, making it more fragile and prone to injury;
- Temporary or permanent neck, shoulder, and back pain;
- Loss of balance and increased risk of falling;
- Negative impact on joint movements;
- Noticeable decrease in flexibility;
- Difficulties in breathing or maintaining steady, rhythmic breathing;
- Difficulties in digesting food.
Because bad posture can negatively affect anything from standard joint alignment to the regular food digestion process, its consequences go much further than simply ruining our appearance and harming overall spine condition.
Although short-term effects of bad posture typically involve back pain and mild discomfort, these symptoms can progress and develop into something more serious over time. Long-term effects of bad posture are much more serious, as they usually incorporate chronic pain conditions and health issues that can prevent people from participating in countless regular activities.
So, the effects of bad posture impact the whole body. If you’ve been experiencing some of the health complications mentioned above or simply feel pain, stiffness, or tenderness in the back area, it might be a good idea to check your posture.
How to Maintain Good Posture?
Small changes in posture can make a world of difference. Although maintaining a good posture might seem like a challenging and time-consuming task at first glance, you’ll immediately notice a change once you implement good posture habits into your everyday life.
When talking about maintaining good posture, it all comes down to consistency and patience. Going back and taking a look at your posture is key to improving your posture in the long run.
Additionally, improving your dynamic and static posture doesn’t happen overnight, so give yourself enough time to implement new habits before giving up.
Once you find yourself slouching or bending incorrectly, immediately improve your position. Over time, you’ll notice your bad posture more frequently, which will remind you of the correct way to sit, walk, or pick up heavy items off the ground.
Ultimately, good posture will become standard posture for you, while poor posture will turn into an uncomfortable choice you’ll soon want to avoid.
Whether you’re aiming at improving your posture while sitting, driving, walking, or laying in bed, with enough patience and consistency, you’ll be able to eliminate poor posture habits and replace them with good ones.
How to fix bad posture when sitting
Nowadays, people spend a lot of time sitting, whether they’re driving a car, working, attending classes, studying, going for coffee with friends, attending a business lunch, watching a movie in a cinema, or simply relaxing at home. When you think about it, we spend most of our day just sitting.
Therefore, it isn’t surprising to learn that poor posture is the result of incorrect sitting in most cases. For that reason, fixing bad posture when sitting might be the essential step on your journey to better posture.
Here are some useful tips you can use to improve your bad posture when sitting:
- Implement several sitting positions and frequently switch between them;
- Stretch your muscles from time to time to relieve built-up muscle tension;
- Take short breaks from sitting by going on brief walks around your home or office;
- Keep both feet on the floor with ankles in front of your knees and avoid crossing your legs;
- Relax your shoulders and avoid pulling them backward;
- Keep your elbows close to the rest of your body;
- Use a backrest or pillow to provide extra support to your back area, especially your lower back’s curve;
- Provide support to your hips and thighs by choosing a well-padded seat that’ll keep your thighs and hips parallel to the floor;
- Use a footrest if your feet don’t touch the floor;
- Invest in a stand-up desk that allows you to alternate between sitting and standing positions during time-consuming activities.
By following these useful guidelines, you can easily improve your sitting posture in record time.
How can you improve posture in general?
If you’re interested in improving your posture overall and not just while sitting, some other guidelines might come in handy. Since improving general posture involves working on both dynamic and static postures, it does represent a more demanding task. Nonetheless, improving overall posture might still be easier than you think.
Here are a few helpful recommendations for improving posture in general:
Pay attention to your posture during everyday activities, such as walking, sitting, washing dishes, or watching TV. Since we spend most of our time doing these activities, it’s important to hold our bodies in the correct position while engaging in them.
Exercise is a crucial element of improving posture. Although any exercise will help, it’s best to choose activities that put posture as their focal point if you truly want to focus on posture improvement.
For instance, yoga and tai chi might be the ideal exercise solutions to encourage you to work on your body awareness and posture. Strength exercises will also improve your core, including the pelvis, lower back, and abdomen.
Go to a Physiotherapist:
Physiotherapy can treat just about any part of your body, including your back. The main goal of physiotherapy is to improve the function and flexibility of joints and muscles. This means physiotherapy also helps reduce back pain which can get you moving if you have bad posture for a longer time.
Once your back pain is relieved thanks to physiotherapy, you’ll have an easier time improving your posture, as a physiotherapist can release stiffness surrounding your back area.
Choose comfortable footwear:
Footwear has a big impact on your posture and back pain, as your entire body weight is placed on your feet when you’re in an upright position.
This means high heels and uncomfortable shoes will force you to walk differently, which often involves putting more stress on your muscles than necessary. This can lead to poor balance and slouching, ultimately harming your posture.
Maintain a healthy weight:
Similar to the previous point, all of our weight is placed on our feet and spine. The more weight someone has, the more burdened feet and spine become. Extra weight typically weakens abdominal muscles, harms the pelvis and spine, and causes low back pain.
Since all of these factors contribute to poor posture, maintaining a healthy weight is another recommendation to consider.
Does Fixing Bad Posture Hurt?
If you suffer from back pain and you want to improve your posture, it’s possible to experience slight discomfort in the back area. Because you’ve had a specific body posture for a while, correcting it and forcing your body to sit or stand in a particular way will indeed feel awkward at first.
In addition to forcing your muscles to be in a new position, it’s difficult to hold your body in an upright position as it is. This is directly connected to gravity, making it easier for us to slouch and succumb to its forces.
However, maintaining good posture is essential to keep muscles working and prevent any long-term health complications from developing.
Although controlling your posture might cause slight awkwardness and discomfort until you get used to it, it certainly shouldn’t cause any severe or unbearable pain. Therefore, fixing bad posture doesn’t hurt. While it may be uncomfortable for some, that feature quickly disappears after the body gets used to the idea of correct posture.
If you’ve been experiencing more severe pain, it might be a good solution to visit a doctor and get your posture medically reviewed.
In case you still have some unanswered questions relating to posture, this FAQ section can provide you with some additional information.
Is it too late to fix my posture?
People who have been dealing with bad posture for years often think their condition is irreversible, thinking it’s simply too late to intervene. However, even if your bad posture has been an issue for years, it’s still possible to experience significant improvement.
Slouched sitting, rounded shoulders and a hunched stance may seem like unsolvable conditions, but there’s nothing that some exercise and several sessions with a physiotherapist can’t improve.
There’s an excellent chance to improve your posture even if you’re in your senior years, so it’s safe to say it’s never too late to focus on your health and fix your posture.
How can I fix my posture permanently?
Many people try to focus on their posture improvement only to find themselves always falling back to the old habits. Specific techniques simply seem to grant temporary results, but that doesn’t have to be the case anymore.
Fixing your posture doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process that requires a lot of time, patience, and consistency. Being mindful of your posture at all times, participating in some kind of physical activity, doing back exercises, and choosing comfortable footwear are just some of the essentials you’ll have to focus on if you want to resolve your posture problem once and for all.
Can slouching be corrected?
Slouching, as one example of bad posture, can be corrected with just a few routine steps. People who often slouch are advised to visit a doctor who will maybe diagnose an underlying condition that’s been causing them to slouch. If there’s no sign of arthritis, osteoporosis, or any similar condition, a physiotherapist can help you correct your slouching in no time at all.
For instance, physiotherapists can help you develop a strong and consistent stretching routine you can later incorporate all by yourself. Furthermore, they can offer you a personalized and individualized approach that will guarantee you do stretches and strengthening exercises that target just the right muscle groups for the most efficient and pain-free results.
Moreover, physiotherapists will monitor your body movements and intervene if you’re doing an activity or exercise incorrectly.
Finally, they’ll maybe even recommend some alternative tools, techniques, and solutions that can speed up the process even further, such as posture correctors, muscle massagers, or foam rollers.
Although the first best step of fixing bad posture is to get your posture medically reviewed, individuals who want to maintain good posture don’t have to go through the process by themselves.
Our team of expert physiotherapists is here to provide you with all the help and support you need while you’re on this life-changing journey.
Book your first appointment today, or contact us to book a free telephone consultation with an expert therapist! Let us help you stand taller, happier, and more confident in the years to come.