Tips, Tools and Exercises for Correcting Body Posture

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We immediately stand up or sit up straight when we think of our posture or when we pass a mirror and notice us slouching. But after some time, we are back to slumping in front of our desk, laptop and phones and before we know it, we have a text neck, which is what happens when you bend your neck forward too far. Having a good body posture is more than just standing up straight. It is about our health and confidence too. We can avoid back and neck pain, muscle strain, fatigue, risk of injury, stress of muscles and joints, etc. when we maintain a good body posture. And people look up to others who have a good posture because they appear more confident and sure. 

A good posture is necessary whether we are sitting, standing/walking or sleeping. Our spine has natural curves and our job is to maintain those curves, not increase it. Bad posture leads to changes in the alignment of these curves in our spine. This can lead to many problems and physical limitations. 

So how to correct our body posture or how to maintain a good posture? To answer that, we are here with some tips, tools and exercises that help improve body posture. 

Tips for correcting body posture:

1. Sitting - It gets difficult to have a good posture when it comes to sitting at a desk job and the work from home situation has only made it worse. Tiredness can also contribute to slouching when we are working at our desks. 

Image Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321863#what-is-good-posture

To improve sitting position, make sure to 

  • Switch sitting positions often
  • Do some kind of movement
  • Stretch your muscles often
  • Keep your feet grounded
  • Round or pull your shoulders backward
  • Keep a backrest

 

2. Standing - It feels so good to stand up straight when we get up after sitting so long. Standing straight really helps our posture and helps keep the balance of our body. When we feel fatigued, we unconsciously hunch when walking or standing and it might slowly become a habit.

Image Source: https://www.hhhealth.com/2020/06/12/best-chair-exercises-to-improve-posture/

To improve standing position, make sure to

  • Stand tall and straight
  • Keep your shoulders gently pulled back
  • Let your arms hang down naturally at your sides
  • Put your weight mostly on the balls of your feet
  • Pull your stomach in
  • Keep your head upright and centered
  • Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart

 

3. Sleeping and Lying down - It’s easy to just dive into our bed and not pay attention to our sleeping posture, especially when we are binge-watching our favourite series. But it’s important to maintain the natural curve of our spine.

Image Source: https://thehungryjpeg.com/product/3748745-sleeping-position-vector-correct-spine-sleeping-position-neck-pose-health-body-orthopedic-isolated-flat-illustration

So to improve sleeping and the lying down position, make sure to

  • Sleep in a position that helps maintain the curve of your back
  • Avoid sleeping on your stomach
  • Use a firm mattress
  • Bend your knees slightly if you are a side sleeper, avoid hugging your knees
  • Keep a pillow under your head

 

Tools for correcting body posture:

If remembering and following these tips are not working, we have some gadgets and tools that make it easy for you to improve your posture.

1. Posture correcting brace

Image Source: pinterest

A posture correcting brace is great for you to maintain your posture. It fits around your shoulders and back and it will gently tug against you when you start to slouch. This brace is comfortable as well as portable and makes sure your body is in the right position.

 

2. Lumbar pillow

Image Source: https://www.amazon.in/FOVERA-Orthopedic-Lumbar-Support-Cushion/dp/B07DYV1NL4

A bad sitting posture can lead to major back pain. So to avoid that and to have a comfortable sitting position, a lumbar pillow or a supporting pillow works the best. It can be used at your desk, in the car, or anywhere you will be seated for a while. This pillow offers more comfort and support for your lower back and also enhances your posture. It helps in maintaining the curve of your spine and an upright position.

 

3. Buzzing posture trainer

Image Source: https://www.t3.com/features/best-posture-corrector

Technology comes in handy for everything! When you see that you are slouching, you immediately stand straight, so what better than a gadget that buzzes when you start to slouch or hunch. This app-enabled trainer is best for reminding you to stand and sit up straight. It's a small device that can be placed right between your shoulders with an adhesive patch.

 

6 exercises to improve body posture: 

If you don’t want to buy a tool or a gadget and want to try something at home, then these are some exercises that can easily be done to correct your body posture.

1. Cat and Cow

Image Source: https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Relieve-Back-Pain-Cat-Cow-Stretch-8320711

It helps stretch your spine and is great for spine mobility. It also relieves tension in your torso, shoulders, neck and lower back muscles.

  • First, kneel on all fours.
  • Exhale and arch your spine gently. 
  • Push your belly toward the floor. 
  • Exhale and round your spine, dropping your chin and tailbone down towards the floor. 
  • Return to the original position and repeat five times.

 

2. Doorway stretch 

Image Source: https://claytonchiropracticstl.com/shoulder-stretches-for-injury-prevention/

It helps in stretching and loosening your upper muscles.

  • Place your elbows and hands in line with a door frame.
  • Step through the door slowly until you feel a stretch.
  • Hold this end position for 15 to 20 seconds, then come back to the starting position.
  • Repeat this stretch 3 times.

 

3. Upper trapezius stretch

Image Source: https://www.impactphysicaltherapy.com/6-exercises-to-reduce-stress-and-strain-in-the-neck/

  • Start by sitting or standing and gently tilt your head to the left.
  • Grasp over the top of your head with your left hand to apply a mild force towards the left.
  • Hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.

 

4. Chin Tucks

Image Source: https://www.freepressjournal.in/weekend/correct-your-posture-and-get-rid-of-pain-in-various-parts-of-your-body-heres-how

  • Start in a standing or seated position.
  • Make sure to align your chin so that it’s parallel to the floor.
  • Pull your head backward.
  • Hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds.
  • Repeat this stretch 3 times.

 

5. Hip flexor stretch 

Image Source: https://evofitness.ch/hip-flexor-stretch/

This stretch opens the hips and improves balance and coordination, along with body posture.

  • Start by kneeling with your right knee on the ground.
  • Then place your left foot in front and bend your knee at a 90-degree angle.
  • Keep your back straight, chest forward, and head upright.
  • Place both hands on your left thigh.
  • Gently press your hips forward and hold the position for 20­–30 seconds.
  • Repeat this stretch on the other side.

 

6. Plank

Image Source: https://www.realsimple.com/health/fitness-exercise/how-to-do-a-plank

This exercise helps improve posture by strengthening muscles in the shoulders and back as well as the core, glutes, and hamstrings. 

  • Start by lying down on your stomach with your forearms against the mat.
  • Engage your core and lift your body so that you are resting on your forearms and toes. The body should be straight.
  • Hold the plank position for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat 5-8 times.

A better posture makes a significant difference in our life. Try these tips, tools and exercises to start your journey towards maintaining a better posture and let us know in the comments how it went!

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