Working from home has become a daily reality for hundreds of thousands of people around the world due to times of confinement. A good posture while working is key to avoid some body aches.
Good posture is also known as a neutral spine, as there shouldn’t ideally be no deviation in the human figure. To keep your body equally and healthily supported, the muscles surrounding your spine should be balanced and the bones there need to be correctly positioned.
If you wonder whether your posture is right when you’re sitting, check that your feet are resting flat on the floor with even weight on both hips. Your back should be mostly straight and your shoulders should be thrown backward but not tensed. Additionally, there should be an invisible straight line connecting your ears with your collarbones.
How can you improve your posture?
- Do not sit in uneven places. It can cause hip imbalance.
- When you work with a computer, rest one or two minutes every 20 minutes. Keep the screen 15 degrees below eye level.
- Keep the weight down and exercise regularly
- Buy a good, firm mattress that will support your spine.
- When you sleep, sleep on your side with your knees bent and your head resting on a pillow to level your head with your spine. Or, sleep on your back, avoiding thick pillows under your head. Or use a small pillow under your neck. Don't sleep on your stomach.
- When you lift something, let your legs do the work to prevent lower back injuries
Benefits of a good posture
A good posture brings lots of benefits. For instance, it reduces your lower back pain, because a bad sitting position puts more pressure on the posterior structures of the spine, including the intervertebral discs, facet joints, ligaments, and muscles. Good posture also contributes to avoiding the headaches caused by remaining muscle tension in the back of your neck. When you’re sitting, you can use a lumbar roll or rolled towel to support your natural lumbar curve. To find your ideal spinal posture when sitting, you can rock your pelvis back and forth and find a position in the middle of those ranges.
If you achieve to keep a neutral spine during your everyday tasks, you’ll probably feel more energized. This happens because your muscles and bones aren’t overstressed and you may feel less fatigue. Even your breathing can be improved by it, as you wouldn’t be compressing your lungs and they’d have more space to expand.
This is how a poor posture can affect your health
A bad posture can cause serious tension in shoulders, back and neck. Bad posture also causes shortening and contraction of lumbar muscles, which inevitably contribute to tension and pain in the lower back.
With a bad posture, you tend to bend so much that your shoulders are bent over the abdomen and chest. This action squeezes those abdominal organs and interrupts the digestive tract, possibly slowing down its metabolism as time goes by. Side effects of this may include constipation and gastrointestinal pain.
If you don't exercise or do any other activity to improve your posture, you will have a misaligned spine and this causes tension on your knees, especially if you suffer from arthritis. You must be very careful!
It reduces the quality of your breathing
If you're hunched over 24 hours a day, you're not allowing your lungs to work as well as they should. Also, your diaphragm needs all the space it can get in your chest cavity to release and contract properly with each breath. Try practicing yoga to improve your posture and learn to breathe better.
When you have bad posture, you are actually adding unnecessary tension to certain parts of your body. This kind of tension will accumulate over time, causing pain in your joints and muscles.
To avoid these negative consequences of bad posture, we recommend that you worry about yourself and your health and find some physical activity that you enjoy that helps you improve your posture. Also, avoid being hunched over if you work long hours in the office.
3 exercises to improve your posture
This exercise helps to strengthen and engage your gluteal and abdominal muscles, and also relieves your lower back from any tension. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips and lower torso off the ground by contracting your gluteus maximus muscles. Then, slowly lower your hips back down. Your abdominal muscles should remain tight.
2. Head retraction
This movement strengthens the neck muscles that are often weak and stretched out. Lie on the floor on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Pull your chin down until it touches your chest and hides your neck. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds and repeat it 10 times.
3. Torso twist
This exercise helps to strengthen your side abs, your obliques, which need to be active when you’re sitting or standing. Start by sitting on the floor with your knees bent. Lift your feet off the floor and tighten your abs. Try to keep your balance as you rotate your upper body and elbows from side to side.