By Ann Bloomquist
So how do we correct our posture and avoid the inevitable pain that comes with it? Thankfully, it’s not all that hard to correct these bad behaviors.
1. Take some time away from those mobile devices
Outside of work hours, most Americans spend 3.5 hours or more on their mobile devices. This strains your posture. Cell phone viewing encourages us to lean our heads down, which puts additional stress on the muscles, ligaments and tendons that support our heads. The best way to prevent this is to step away when possible. While mobile usage can be addicting, so too can be a breath of fresh air, or disconnecting for an hour or two each day. However, if you just can’t part ways with that device, there are ways to correct your posture. Start by holding your phone at eye level. Doing this keeps your head up and shoulders back. This is very similar to the position in which you should be sitting at your desk.
2. Correct how you are sitting at your desk
Office workers, pay attention! You might not think it but it is possible to create a posture-neutral position that will free you of pain and inevitably make you more productive. Aside from taking regular movement breaks, there are a few adjustments that you can make to your work station to make you more comfortable. Make sure that your desk allows for a full range of motion, that your most used items are within arm’s reach, that you have adequate space for your legs and feet and that you are not sitting in a hunched position.
3. Invest in a sit-stand workstation
One of the best solutions to improving posture is a sit-stand desk. Not only will you burn more calories, but your body will be more posture neutral in a standing position. While you are standing, be sure that you also pull your stomach in, push those shoulders back, keep your head up and level and place the majority of your weight on the balls of your feet. Whenever possible, give your arms a break and let them hang at your sides. Finally, keep your feet shoulder-width apart.
4. While Exercising
Leveraging the proper walking and running posture will help to strengthen your back and alleviate back pain. When walking, your spine should be aligned vertically. When running, keep your eyes focused straight ahead, keep your arms pumping at your sides (not crossing in front of you), and balance your weight forward.