Tips to Improve Your Posture

Aug 3, 2019
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Your mother may have told you to stand up straight or not to slouch in your chair. That's good advice, but it's easy to forget about keeping good posture. A disease or health condition can cause poor posture. If so, orthopedic doctors in Suffolk County, NY, can help. However, there are ways you can improve your posture in the meantime. Read on to learn more!

Standing

When you stand, keep your chin even with the floor or ground. Make sure your shoulders are back and your stomach is in. Your feet should be shoulder-length apart. Shift your weight forward a little, so that your weight is resting on the balls of your feet. Don't place your weight on your heels.

Walking

When walking, keep your head up and your back straight. To test your posture, balance a book on your head as you walk. Wear shoes with plenty of padding and avoid wearing high heels.

Sitting

When sitting, keep your body in proper alignment. At work, use a chair that is ergonomically correct. If your chair doesn't provide enough support, use a pillow or lumbar support. Avoid crossing your legs or leaning to one side. Both feet should be on the floor. If your feet don't reach the floor, use a footrest. Place your computer at a proper angle so you're sitting up straight when working. Get up and stand, walk, or stretch. As your muscles tire from sitting too long, poor posture can result.

When driving, adjust your seat and your headrest. Use lumbar supports for your back. Your knees should be even with or slightly above your hips.

Don't forget your posture at home. When sitting on a comfortable couch or in a soft chair, you may want to add a pillow for your back and sit on a pillow to avoid slumping.

Sleeping

When sleeping, support your back with pillows.  Select a head pillow that keeps your spine straight. Choose a comfortable mattress. Replace your mattress every 10 years or so.

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Electronic Devices

Prop up electronic devices, like phones and tablets. Looking down puts stress on your neck.

Exercises

You can perform exercises to strengthen your body and to maintain the proper alignment of your spine:

  • Weight-bearing exercise: Go for a jog or take a walk. The movement strengthens your bones.
  • Exercise your core: Exercises, like yoga and Pilates, strengthen your core—the abdominal and back muscles. Abdominal stretches also help with core muscles.
  • Strength training: Perform exercises that strengthen the muscles across your upper back and shoulders. Stretch your arms forward with palms up, bend your forearms, and touch your shoulder blades.
  • Stretching: Stretch your shoulders by placing your elbows to your side, touching your shoulders with your hands, and raising and lowering your elbows.
  • Breathing: Breathing exercises can stretch your spine and engage your waist and lower core muscles.

If you experience back, neck, or shoulder pain, call Peconic Bay Medical Center at (631) 369-5000. Our orthopedic specialists will determine if your pain is caused by a medical condition or something that can be easily fixed through these simple tips. Call today!