It’s no accident that posture—a word meaning the position of the back while sitting or standing—also means an attempt to impress. Good posture has historically been linked to cultural importance and significance, with world leaders and celebrities alike praised for their mastery of it. Beyond presence, proper posture is also connected to health, which makes research into how to improve posture crucial to focus on physical well-being.
What are the Effects of Bad Posture?
Slouching, leaning, or otherwise neglecting posture isn’t just bad for first impressions—it also takes its toll on your body. While it might seem like your back and stomach don’t have much to do with one another, when your back isn’t held at the correct posture, you’re more likely to suffer heartburn and indigestion.
Your stomach and intestines become compressed by the forward arc of your internal organs, pushing stomach acid where it doesn’t belong. This intestinal detriment can even follow you to the bathroom, where constipation can strike due to prolonged bad posture. Back and body pain are also very common symptoms of bad posture, leading to distracting levels of discomfort. When left untreated for long enough, this body pain can even cause serious injuries to joints like knees and hips.
What Are Signs of Bad Posture?
If you regularly experience stiffness or soreness in your neck, shoulders, back, legs, or knees, there’s a good chance bad posture is at least partially to blame. Other less obvious signs include recurring digestive issues like acid reflux and heartburn, difficulty breathing while at rest, and frequent or persistent headaches. Fatigue is another signal from your body that it’s time to figure out how to get better posture for the sake of your spinal vertebrae.
How Do I Stand Properly?
Standing properly is all about paying attention and a little creative visualization. Frequent users of electronic devices like smartphones almost automatically adopt a bad stance when standing—head down, shoulders hunched, arms tight to the body in anticipation of reading a screen. Instead, vow to stash your phone, tablet, or smartwatch out of sight while walking, and keep your chin tilted up, rather than down. Imagine a thread tied to the center of your chest, pulling upwards—your shoulders will fall back, and your head will naturally tilt up in response.
How Can I Stop Slouching?
When determining how to improve posture in your daily life, even rigorous attention to your body might not be enough. Positional aids are a great shortcut to teaching your body proper posture in the face of bad habits. Here are a few devices that are ideal for getting started or back on track:
Re-Creating a Work-Life Balance
Bad posture sneaks in during sedentary periods, or when you’re too distracted to notice. Using a posture corrector like Plane Standing Desk Balance Board from Fluidstance when you’re standing still for a task at work can help. It compels your body to use small, non-distracting micro-movements to stay balanced, engaging your core and sense of balance while preventing slouching.
Don’t just sit, actively sit
While some offices use standing desks to prevent slouching and loss of focus, not every workplace has embraced them. Your office chair, no matter how comfortable it may seem, is more than likely contributing to slouching. Even when you religiously engage in posture exercises throughout the day, the pressure to slump forward over a keyboard is strong. Fight back with this intriguing accordion-like Adult Active Sitting Stool from ErgoErgo that keeps your core active and engaged, even when you’re mid-spreadsheet.
How Do I Stop My Shoulders From Slouching?
Shoulders are expressive, strong, and made to be an important hinge for your range of torso movement. That’s why, when they’re slouched or tense, issues creep into the back and even the neck with painful results. While wearing a back brace for posture might temporarily solve the issue, more targeted products can address the root of the problem, empowering your body to help its own healing.
Get Your Spine In Line
Exercise equipment is carefully balanced and calibrated to avoid injury, shouldn’t you treat your spine with at least the same level of care? The Spinal Alignment Board from Pure Posture is a customizable wooden panel system designed by two chiropractors. It can take a little getting used to but offers an important payoff. Each day you use it, you’re helping fight off bad posture by aligning your spine—when used in conjunction with regular exercise routines or chiropractic therapy, the potential is even greater.
Brace Yourself for Better Posture
While wearing a back brace for posture usually requires the user to remain sedentary, the microfiber, wraparound Posture Brace by Back Pain Help offers considerably more freedom. Easy to wear and adjust, it can even be worn over a t-shirt for comfort during longer wear sessions. Even if you can only wear it for an hour or two each day, you’ll be training your body in the right way to stand to avoid dropping your shoulders into a less-than-ideal position.
A Personal Back Trainer
If you’ve tried to sit upright, only to realize with a touch of exasperation your shoulders are slouching mere minutes later, you’re not alone. Your body has trained itself to assume this position as you work, so it simply needs a gentle reminder to reset itself. The Portable Posture Trainer from BetterBack ensures that the right posture is the most comfortable one, effectively training your body with comfort as the reward.
How Can I Improve My Posture Quickly?
Consistency is the key to achieving the best posture, and that means giving yourself as much help as possible throughout your daily routines. While you aren’t exactly able to tote a chiropractor along with you on errands, it’s less challenging determining how to correct posture on the go. The car is a notorious posture-inhibitor, between a low roof, your driving position, and the posture a seat belt can force your body into. Special seat cushions can make sure your car is as focused on your spinal health as you are.
A Core Workout at Your Desk
If you’re wondering how to fix posture in both the office and the car, this clever Posture Cushion from Back Pain Help is the shortcut you’ve been searching for. The rounded base helps engage your core during everyday activities, allowing you to use it during your commute and at your desk. It’s also great for concerts, sporting events, and anywhere you’d like to sit and relax without making your spine pay the price for slouching.
Sit Up Straight Everywhere
If you find that your tendency to slouch comes from your back and shoulders, it’s best to address the problem where it lives. This well-designed Lumbar Support Backboard from Back Pain Help can be used in the car for commuting or long afternoons in the school pickup lane, or at your desk to keep your spine aligned throughout the day. While soft and comfortable, it helps you sit properly to reduce strain on your back and keep from hunching over the steering wheel or keyboard.
In order to keep your neck, back, and shoulders in “alignment harmony,” you’ll need to figure out how to improve posture in a way that works for you. Carefully consider the ways you sit and stand throughout the day, and approach their correction with mindfulness and a helping product or two. While regular exercise and spinal care are important, there’s a great deal you can do from the comfort of your home, car, or office to stay on the path of slouch-free bliss.
Wondering if using a standing desk will help with how to improve posture? Check out our standing desk benefits.
Never miss a post, video, or feature. See what’s new on What’s Next!