Thursday, April 04, 2019

8 Innovative Ways to Practice Better Posture

You may think that an occasional bout of back or neck pain might be the worst effect you experience as a result of bad posture. Turns out, however, that slouched and slumped sitting can impact so many more systems in your body. Poor posture has been shown to:

●    Diminish respiratory capacity and potentially cause breathing disorders
●    Slow down your intestinal motility, specifically the internal transit of gas
●    Increase the stress on your spine which can contribute to long-term damage and chronic pain
●    Reduce blood circulation to areas cut off by pressure, i.e. the legs and feet when you cross your legs
●    Zap energy levels

Say Goodbye to Bad Posture
In addition to the typical recommendations of stretching, exercising, and practicing better balance to improve your posture, you might want to try these 8 innovative ideas:

Weight lifting
Oftentimes poor posture is simply the result of muscle imbalances in the chest and back. An extra strong yet tight chest, for example, might outweigh a weak upper back and pull the shoulders forward more than they should go. Strategic strength training can address this harmful tug and pull by reinforcing key muscle groups that promote good postures like the trapezius and latissimus dorsi.

Wear ‘Smart’ Pajamas
Data generating ‘smart’ pajamas have been created by researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. They are designed to measure key health metrics that might influence sleep quality and quantity including sleep posture and heart and respiratory signals. Self-powered sensors inside the pajamas can measure the pressure of the body against the bed, helping to calculate the types of postures a sleeper may be assuming. While not commercially available yet, they could be in the next one to two years.

Manage Stress
Stress has this clever way of manifesting itself physically in the body through tight, tense muscles and headaches. Stress can also lead to negative lifestyle behaviors like forgoing exercise, eating junk food, and drinking too much alcohol. All of these add up to bad posture habits that can be hard to break! Nip stress in the bud with useful techniques like practicing mindfulness, deep breathing, walking in nature, coloring, getting a massage, and aromatherapy.

Brace It
Need a little extra posture reinforcement? A discreet and flexible posture brace that you wear throughout the day can actually help correct poor posture and provide much-needed support to your back and shoulders. Make sure to look for a posture brace that is adjustable, easy to put on and take off, and features padding for added comfort.

Use an App
More and more mobile apps are being designed to address the poor posture habits that permeate the wider population. Whether it’s an indicator on your laptop that lets you know when you’re dropping your head or a notification on your smartphone that alerts you when you’re slumping, the ability for software to assist your personal health goals has come leaps and bounds in the last 25 years. Start with wearable tech like “Lumo Back” or apps like Perfect Posture Workout.

Address Pain
If you are caught in the vicious cycle of back pain which leads to poor posture which leads to more back pain, it’s time to find a solution. Spinal manipulative therapy like you might receive with a visit to the chiropractor or physical therapist has been shown to have the same positive impact on low back pain as recommended therapies like taking pain killers and NSAIDS. In fact, a 2019 systematic review and meta-analysis published in The BMJ found that spinal manipulative therapy was even better than non-recommended pain interventions when it came to improving short-term function.

Move More
Your answer to the sitting plague at work might be utilizing a standing desk, however, research indicates that standing in one place with the same poor posture isn’t the answer. Instead, experts recommend simply moving more throughout the day, not just when you go workout. 10 squats every hour on the hour, walking during your lunch break, a mini yoga session before you start the day, lunges when you empty the dryer . . . the ideas are endless.

Sit Better
The average person simply can’t avoid sitting at some point during the day so why not learn how to do it correctly? Firstly, experts recommend never crossing your legs. Not only does crossing your legs inhibit proper blood and fluid circulation in your body but it also shifts the balance of your hips and throws your spine out of alignment. Research has also shown that sitting like our ancient ancestors once did could be the trick to better form. Instead of forming a “c” with your back when you sit down, bend at the hips as you lower to the seat, keeping your bottom untucked and your back straight.

This is a guest blog posting

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are welcome.