Posture Perfect: Everyday habits that are causing you pain

come from a long line of family with poor posture. It’s in the way we sit, stand, walk, eat,
read, and virtually anything else we may do. In my younger years this has never occurred to
‘me. Now, in my early twenties, | am already starting to feel the toll that my unmerciful slouch
is taking on my body.

Asareceptionist for Comprehensive Physical Therapy Center I find that my slouch becomes
more prominent throughout the day. | start off straight, but as the day goes on my nose
gradually gets pulled closer to my computer screen resulting in a hunched back and a sore

Self awareness is the key to correcting any and all improper postural habits. What you must
realize is that there is no such thing as perfect posture, but there are ways we can all work to
personally improve our own postures. So, in order to correct ourselves, we must understand
‘what proper posture looks and feels lke.

Think about how you are sitting now as your read this blog. Is your back curved forward or
hunched? If so, push the outward curve in. Next, lift your shoulders slightly, pull back, and
then rest them gently. Picture placing the blades of your shoulders in their own pockets.
Finally, straighten your neck. The proper way to do this is to not only lift your head, but to pull
itback as well. The end result may feel unusual at first, simply because itis not habit, yet.

‘An easy way to check your posture is to stand with the back of your body pressed against a
wall or other flat surface. Make sure that the back of your head, shoulder blades, buttocks,
and heels are all touching the wall. Use this simple exercise to help increase your awareness
of how your body should feel. As time goes on you will be able to wean yourself from this
exercise as you progress in attaining proper posture for your body.

Now, lets talk about office chairs. In order to maintain your posture itis extremely important
to make sure that you are sitting correctly. Your feet should be placed flat on the floor. Avoid
dangling your legs or tucking them under your chair. Your body, including your head, should
be positioned flat against the back of the chair. You may find this difficult to maintain at first
but itwill become easier with practice, time, and self awareness.

‘An easy way to keep yourself and your posture in check is to get up frequently. You should
leave your desk and walk every thirty minutes. If you find that you have trouble with this try
drinking more water; this easy solution will have you getting up to refill your bottle and usi
the restroom more often.

Improving your posture will not only help to alleviate back, shoulder, and neck pains, but will
also encourage you to introduce and maintain other healthy habits as part of your daily
routine. Your entire core will regain strength and its highest potential performance no matter
‘what the activity. Now that you realize the fundamental importance of practicing proper
posture techniques it is crucial to incorporate them as often as possible to ensure noticeable

  • Markie Gumpert, Front Desk Receptionist/Marketing Coordinator @ our Holland Clinic