Americans are suffering from an epidemic of poor posture, which can create long-term health problems. The good news is that when you take steps to improve your posture, your back pain could lessen and your overall health can improve. Here are 3 tips to improve your posture, according to a trusted West Palm Beach chiropractor.
Change the Way You Stand
Keep your knees slightly bent. This will take pressure off your lower back. Be sure to bear the weight of your body on the balls of your feet. Also, keep your feet at the right distance apart–shoulder-width, not close together or far apart.
Stand tall with your shoulders back and stomach pulled in. Your head should be level, not tipped downward for long periods (as we do when checking our smartphones too often). You can shift your weight from one foot to another if you must stand for a long time.
To relieve pressure from your spine, wear flat-soled shoes with good support. Avoid high heels, as they force you into an abnormal posture and place intense pressure on your backbone. If possible, use a padded mat for long periods of standing. This will relieve discomfort from standing on a hard floor surface like concrete or ceramic tile.
Modify How You Sit
Let the back of the chair touch your back. Use a lumbar cushion or small towel that is rolled up to keep your spine in its natural curve position. Your knees should be bent in a 90-degree angle and at the same height as your hips, or possibly higher. Your feet should rest flat on the floor. If not, place a small box or footrest under your feet to elevate them.
If you are at a desk all day, take breaks every hour to gently stretch your neck while you walk around to improve circulation. Also, if you are in the habit of checking your phone or looking down frequently, it’s important to look up and level your gaze to preserve your neck. Frequent breaks can make a big difference for your posture.
On your commute to and from work, resist the urge to recline. Your driver’s seat should be as close as possible to the steering wheel and in an upright position. You can use a small pillow or rolled towel to support your back.
Another way to preserve your posture is to keep your legs uncrossed while sitting. This practice strains your back as well as places pressure on your veins and muscles. It may take time to break this habit, but it will greatly improve your posture.
Strengthen Your Core Muscles
Your core muscles help support your back. When you have strong core muscles, they naturally lend support to your spine. Practice weight-bearing exercises like planks, crunches, and torso twists several times per week to strengthen your core. Don’t forget to add 30 minutes of cardio exercise, five times per week, for your overall health. Make sure to practice good posture while exercising too.
How a Chiropractor Can Help
A West Palm Beach chiropractor can provide a specific evaluation of your posture and make recommendations for improving it. If you are suffering from back pain, consult with one of our chiropractors today to learn about the options available to you. Your posture can significantly improve through regular chiropractic treatments.