I have read a lot of articles about how to get a better posture in online health magazines. However, it seems that only a handful of resources address the subject comprehensively. Posture isn’t about just one part of the body. Talking only about the spine and ignoring wrist posture doesn’t provide the complete picture. Secondly, the cause of bad posture is seldom discussed from the psychological viewpoint. I believe that our inner feelings are often reflected in our posture. The Zen mindset too believes in our physical form being closely related to our mental health. I have analyzed my posture and realized that whenever my self-confidence is low, I slouch more. Whenever I feel more conscious about my appearance, I am more likely to have a stiff neck or aching shoulders.
How to get a better posture?
Gaining and maintaining the right posture is not difficult. You just need to identify the causes of bad posture and develop personal habits that help you correct common postural mistakes. I am sharing some tips to help you correct your posture in a holistic way:
Getting Your Standing Posture Right
Your standing posture is a direct reflection of how you are feeling. People with a calm, relaxed mind who are confident of their appearance tend to stand more decisively with a subtle casualness. Their gait is upright with minimal slump. To get a better standing posture, ensure that your feet are parted in line with your shoulder. If you have been a regular at the gym, you might have heard about this from the instructor too. When our feet are maintained at shoulder-width apart, the body weight is uniformly distributed. The stress on the lower spine is reduced. This also corrects the neck posture.
Getting Your Walking Posture Right
Until you get the standing posture right, walking correctly is almost impossible. With the corrected standing pose, try to lift your feet slightly when walking. Ideally, you should be looking ahead with your head raised. Your arms shouldn’t be hitting the body but slightly brushing against it. The elbows can be slightly bent for more comfort. An easy way of releasing your tensions, as you walk, is to unclench your fist. When you take a step, the heel should touch the ground first, followed by the toe.
Getting Your Sitting Posture Right
The increasing use of laptops and PCs ensures that we are seated for most part of the day. Sitting in the wrong way is a common cause for severe neck and wrist aches. Maintain some basic precautions when you are seated for long hours.
Firstly, you need to limit the arch as it impacts the lower spine. Developing lower backache is very likely if you are arched or bent over too much. You might be slouching at the desk too, i.e. when your shoulders are positioned downwards. Try to avoid this as it raises the stress on your upper and mid spinal region.
The angle of the screen is at the core of maintaining good sitting posture. The screen should be at your eye level. Basically, you shouldn’t need to strain your eyes. If you need to raise or bow your head to read the screen, you are not seated properly. This affects your neck posture too. An acutely raised or lowered neck is more likely to be stressed than a straight neck.
If you type a lot, remember that the forearms should be comfortably rested near the keypad. It is better to choose a seat that provides some support to the elbows when typing for long hours.
Many orthopedics recommend keeping the knee at a 90-degree angle. Keeping an absolutely straight knee isn’t easy when there is limited desk space. Try to switch the position of your knees between being slightly bent and almost straight. Don’t cross your legs. This can raise the pressure along your lower back.
Take small breaks to break away from the seated stance. Take a small stroll to get the blood flowing in the lower limbs. When seated for long hours, there is always a possibility of the neck posture going wrong. To neutralize the damage, do some shoulder and wrist rotations during the break.