Below is a diagram depicting the most common postures. Remember that posture is a habit. Poor postures are depicted on the left and in the middle. Optimal ones are displayed on the right.
- Change your routine. Avoid doing the same activities or exercises every day.
- Change your shoes often and wear different heel types.
- Avoid carrying heavy things on the same side of your body.
- Become aware of your dominant standing leg and avoid leaning on it while standing for long periods.
- Breathe diaphragmatically and engage your core.
- Spread your stance and take up space. Consider foam rolling and Yoga.
- Use a sit/stand desk and set a timer to remind you to get up frequently and change position.
- If you have poor body awareness, consider using posture biofeedback devices to remind you of when you’re slouching.
- Avoid sitting on couches that are overly soft and non-supportive of neutral postures.
- Adjust your car seat to optimize your sitting angle and minimize strain on your hamstrings and arms. Have a bend in your elbows bent while holding the steering wheel.
- Avoid looking down at books, cell phones, tablets, and other electronic devices for long periods of time. Use book holders and hold your phone up closer to your face.
- Avoid sitting with your legs tightly crossed, because it positions your pelvis in a twisted posture and reduces circulation of blood to your legs.
To optimize posture and reduce pain, research shows that there are different types of physical therapy that work best. When you’re having pain, serial deep tissue massage once or twice a week can help to calm the overly-excited receptors in your joints that bombard the nervous system. Over time, this gradually reduces chemical inflammation and decreases pain. The most effective type of physical therapy does require your active participation. By moving your affected body parts against some manual resistance, you can inhibit pain, enhance range of motion and improve strength. Change your posture habits and improve your health today.