More and more, we see people with the infamous “text neck” – the postural result of our phone and computer-centric lifestyles. Head forward and shoulders down, this posture is the hallmark of our 21st century culture. Unfortunately, it's not healthy.
The good news is that in many cases, it is possible to correct bad posture, and there are a few things you can try to help develop the straight and strong back that you dream to have.
1. Back exercises
One of the key methods to improving your posture is to do proper back exercises to strengthen your lower back and upper back muscles. A stronger back holds your spine, shoulder blades, and torso up much better and prevents the return of postural problems you may have had.
There are many back workouts that people swear by, and it doesn’t have to be overly strenuous either. Back exercises can range from simple stretches that you can do at home or at work, to muscle-building workouts you may want to try at the gym. It’s all about finding what works for you – what your body can take as you build strength and how much time and effort you are willing to put in to counteract poor posture.
2. Less time glued to your screen
This 21st century posture is a result of the habits we’ve formed around the technological advancements that are now a part of our daily lives. Many 9-to-5 jobs leave people hunched over their computers all day, and even if you aren’t at work, the hook of social media keeps you attached to your phone for long periods of time.
It’s all about changing habits that go along with the physical exercises to correct back posture. Check yourself when you use your phone or computer – is your back straight? Are you hunched over the screen? Can you take a break from looking at the screen? Are you keeping proper posture?
It's all about correcting bad habits. Fix your poor posture by making these small but meaningful changes in your daily life.
3. Core exercises
It isn’t just about your back. In order to correct your posture and keep it from developing again over time, it is a good idea to pair your back exercises with core workouts as well. Working your core helps to develop the muscles of the abdomen, making it easier for you to keep upright instead of falling into the usual hunched c shape we tend to take as we sit down at our desk or walk around town.
Just like back workouts, there are many core exercises that can help you strengthen your torso . Find the one that best fits your lifestyle, keep at it and you’ll see the results over time.
4. Sit up properly
Correcting sitting posture is harder than it seems.
Sitting is an inevitable part of your day. The goal is to be self-aware when it comes to how you sit. If you work at an office all day, it may be a good idea to purchase a chair that is ergonomically designed for better posture. There are plenty of them on the market so take your pick and hopefully you train yourself to sit up better throughout the day.
5. Sleep properly
It isn’t just about how you sit and stand – it matters how you sleep too. You spend several hours each day sleeping, and your resting positions can have a larger effect on you than you realise.
Correct alignment is key. Sleeping in the right position for you, depending on your bed space, is important to maintaining good posture. Make sure that your spine is properly aligned to avoid both neck pain and lower back pain overnight, resulting in better posture throughout the day. When you're in pain from poor sleep alignment, your muscles can overcompensate and result in curvature of the spine.
Having proper support at night largely depends on your mattress and pillow. If you do feel discomfort at night or when you wake, it might be high time you considered investing in a new mattress or pillow. It not only helps with posture but is an important factor is getting good sleep in general.