Common posture mistakes we all make; how to correct bad posture
- A physiotherapist talks about the three bad postures people may practice unknowingly and how to fix them.
It is said that your posture can reflect your state of mind. No wonder, those who stand or sit straight are perceived as more confident while those slouching or slumping are seen as less enthusiastic and underconfident. A good posture has numerous other benefits that are not immediately visible. Sitting straight for example can make you more productive at work. Keeping your back and neck straight also helps relieve many aches and pains. It could also help you prevent many musculoskeletal conditions that emanate from a bad posture. (Also read: Menopausal arthritis: How yoga, swimming and regular exercise can help relieve the pain)
Why a good posture is so important!
"Having a good posture can help us and our body in equal weight distribution at our joints. We are all aware that our body has different muscles or muscle groups for different actions. When a particular muscle group is overloaded, it disturbs the biomechanical synergy of the muscles which can cause pain, spasm and reduced joint mobility which also affects the flexibility of the joints and so its strength tends to decline over the period of time. This makes you more prone to pains, aches and muscle or joint injuries while performing any daily activity," says Dr Priya Singh (PT), Women’s health Physiotherapist & Lactation consultant, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Navi Mumbai.
What is a posture
Your posture is how you bear the weight of your body while sitting, standing, or while doing any activity.
"A good posture is having synergy between all your major muscle groups; no muscle group has to be overloaded with your own body weight. The not-so-good postures that we notice around us in fact we sometimes end up practicing them regularly without actually being aware of them," says the physiotherapist.
Three posture mistakes we make
Dr Singh talks about the three common bad postures that people may practice unknowingly.
- The first very commonly practiced posture during sitting is 'slouching' and ‘forward head’ where the load of upper back, neck and head is going or dropping forward.
- Second common posture is tilting towards one side excessively; again this could be noticed during sitting or in standing.
- The next posture that is a little difficult to get aware of is a forward or backward tilts while standing. It is like drawing an imaginary line from the long axis of your head till your foot but the line does not seem straight, it would appear oblique.
Practicing bad postures on a daily basis may affect joint and muscle health in the long run. However, these postures could be successfully corrected.
How to fix bad postures
Be aware of how you sit, stand or perform a particular activity
Dr Singh says once we start paying attention to our posture, we can actually start taking small actions for the same.
Start practicing small exercise routine at your desks. There are many stretching exercises that could be done just by sitting on your chair in which a physiotherapist can guide you better.
Taking small breaks between working hours that could be for a small walk or just to breath can help.
Position your laptop right
The next thing we should not forget is to have our laptop screen at the eye level, with appropriate distance. A good comfortable chair and a foot rest can make the good posture practice more effective.
Regular stretching and strength training
The last but the most important tip to remember is indulging in regular stretching and strength training which is the key to have a good posture all the time apart from good health.