What’s your body’s natural posture like? The truth is that most people can’t answer this question, simply because they turn a blind eye to their posture. In doing so, however, they place themselves at risk for a wide range of adverse conditions, including musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), herniated discs, muscle strains, and back pain.
Get Up and Move!
According to a 2008 study conducted by Vanderbilt University, the average US adult spends approximately 7.7 hours sitting each day! Whether you are working at the office, commuting to and from work, eating meals, or just lounging around the house watching TV, you are probably sitting. Over time, this can take a toll on your body and spine, causing some people to naturally slump over when they walk. To promote good posture, try spending more time on your feet and less time sitting.
Even if you make lifestyle changes to get up and move, you’ll probably still spend a significant portion of your day sitting. The key to mitigating the effects of sitting on your posture is to sit the right way. This means planting both feet on the floor (about shoulder-width apart), resting your wrists on a slide-out keyboard tray, and using an orthopedic chair with lumbar support. Although it may feel comfortable at times, try to avoid crossing your legs when sitting. As noted by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), your ankles should be placed in front of your feet knees when sitting.
Strengthen Your Core
Your core (abdominal) muscles play a key role in your posture. When the core becomes weak, your spine will have to work extra hard to hold up and support your body. Subsequently, this often results in slouching and other bad posture habits. So, what can you do to strengthen your core muscles? There are dozens of exercises designed to target the core. These include leg lifts, crunches, sit-ups, planks and side planks. Try to incorporate some of these core-strengthening exercises into your normal workout routine.
Summit Chiropractic can also assist in correcting and preventing posture issues. Dr. Gray or Dr. Katie will first perform an examination to determine the curvature of your spine, at which point they will offer recommendations on how to fix it. This may include a series of manual spinal adjustments, spinal decompression and/or massage therapy. Follow their advice and you’ll be well on your way to having better posture.