If you are anything like me, your mother told you to stand up straight and hold your shoulders back when you were young (maybe she still does today!). As we age, it is important that we start thinking about our posture again.
Think about how many hours each day we spend looking down at our phones, typing at our computers and sitting in nice, soft recliners all evening – they’re countless! It is important that we start to reverse years of hunching over and learn how to stand up straight.
Correct posture will keep your spine erect and decrease neck and back pain. Correct posture will also allow us to breathe more deeply, ensuring we are bringing in all of the oxygen our body needs. Here are some tips to help keep posture a part of your daily routine:
- Pick a door in your home (whether it is the door to your living room, bathroom, or bedroom), and each time you walk by back up to the door, lift your chest up and touch your shoulders and head to the door. Hold this pose for 10 seconds and repeat 5-6 times per day.
- When you are sitting at a red light, lift your chest up and touch the back of your head to the headrest of your car.
- When you are going to bed, lie on your back without a pillow for 10 minutes.
- When you are on your phone reading your email or playing games, take a break every 15 minutes to lift your chest up and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
- When you are working at your desk on your computer, stand up every hour. Lift your chest up, squeeze your shoulder blades together, and lift your arms over your head, alternating arms for one minute.
- Place a small pillow behind your lower back when you are sitting in a recliner or riding in a car. If your car has built in lumbar support, consider using that.
The most important thing to remember is to move. Our bodies are not made to sit still for prolonged periods of time. Lift your chest up, keep your shoulders back, and keep moving for a long, pain free life.
Lynelle Evans, PT
Outpatient Rehab Supervisor
St. Davids Rehabilitation Hospital