The real reason you need to fix your posture
If you’ve ever been told to stand up straight, you would have instantly been aware of your posture. The same goes for when you’ve been hunched over on your computer for hours and suddenly realize that it’s probably not the best thing for your back to sit in the same position for so long. “Short-term effects of poor posture can include acute pain and aches,” Charles Kim, a physiatrist and pain-management specialist, recently told Allure. “Long-term effects could lead to faster and premature degeneration (‘wear-and-tear’) of parts that could lead to chronic pain,” he continued. In other words, you should probably try to fix your posture ASAP.
Worse still, having bad posture can contribute to a multitude of other health-related problems. “Headaches and tension in the shoulders and back are often created by chronic bad posture,” Peggy W. Brill, a physical therapist and spokesperson for the American Physical Therapy Association told TODAY. “If you’re slouching, you may also have gastrointestinal reflux or feel fatigued because you’re unable to breathe deeply,” she added.
Make small changed to improve your posture
Ultimately, the sooner you start working on your posture, the better. According to Christopher Wolf, M.D., an orthopedic spine surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute, it’s not as hard as it sounds, recommending you start by focusing on the position of your head. “In general, if your head is up, your shoulders are going to go back, and you’re going to maintain the most normal neck and [back] alignment for you,” Wolf told SELF. You also need to become more aware of the way you sit, both at work and at home, avoiding slouching as much as possible.
The next thing you need to do is get moving, especially if you work a desk job. “A good rule of thumb is to try and block out 20 or 30 minutes of light exercise or continuous movement a day, some kind of physical work to get you at 60 to 70% of your ideal heart rate,” Rahul Shah, MD, FAAOS, a board-certified orthopedic spine and neck surgeon told Good Housekeeping. “This’ll help you get your muscles primed to withstand the process of sitting.”
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