Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: December 14, 2015
Slouching is far too common in today’s society. We’re constantly hunched over a keyboard or staring at a computer screen, and this poor posture can put extra strain on our spine. Even just positioning your head an inch or two out in front of your body can add 10-20 extra pounds of stress to your spine. Today, we’re going to share four tips to help keep you from slouching throughout your day.
1. Posture Awareness
Being aware of your posture is the best way to prevent yourself from slouching. If you clicked on this blog, odds are you straightened up just by reading the title, but being cognizant of your posture is crucial to avoid slouching. Try to check your seated posture every 5-15 minutes until sitting with your head positioned over your shoulders becomes second nature. Every time you’re seated at your desk or in the car, take regular looks at your posture, and take corrective measures to stop slouching.
2. Anti-Slouching Devices
Being cognizant of your seated position is important, but it’s easy to fall into bad routines and to forget to regularly check your posture. Help yourself get into a better seated position by putting an object behind your back to gently guide your spine into the correct position. There are plenty of posture-correcting devices on the market, but some people find relief with a rolled up towel or a pillow. Placing any of those devices in your lower lumbar spine or in the small of your back can ease your back into optimal position. Keep a small towel or pillow in your car or at the office to help maintain good posture habits when you’re not at home.
3. Back Strengthening Exercises
Sometimes we slouch because it feels easier on some of our back muscles, but if we strengthen those muscles, we’ll be less likely to slouch. You want to target your shoulders, upper back and neck muscles during these exercises. This website diagrams six exercises you can perform to strengthen areas in your back that can contribute to slouching. From Prone Y Extensions to Doorways Stretches, you can actively combat slouching by building core muscles in your back.
4. Be Mindful of Objects That Contribute to Slouching
This point goes hand in hand with posture awareness, but you also need to be aware of objects and devices that contribute to slouching. Most notable is the office chair. Depending on your situation, you may want to consider converting your desk into a standing workstation. People who stand at work tend to be healthier, have a reduced likelihood of hypertension and heart disease and they generally have less back pain. Another common culprit that contributes to back pain is your backpack. If your backpack is sitting low on your back or is extremely heaving, you’re likely going to be leaning over to compensate. If you get used to this poor position while walking around school, you’ll inherently find a similar position when seated.