If you catch yourself slouching over your laptop on the daily, you're certainly not alone. With working from home becoming more prevalent in today's society, it's not uncommon to have a makeshift work area on your bed or living room couch. And if you do have a desk, well, you may not be equipped with the best chair that provides good back support. Little daily habits can totally wreck your posture, but don't fret, because there are some secret tricks to fix bad posture we're going to clue you in on. This way, you can make corrections in your routine ASAP.
We spoke with Dr. Rahul Shah, Board Certified Orthopedic Spine and Neck Surgeon who reveals the bad daily habits you should quit in addition to the secret tricks to fix bad posture. Read on to learn more, and next, check out The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.
These are the worst daily habits that are destroying your posture
Typically, the habits that wreck your posture deal with "holding the head out of line with the pelvis," according to Dr. Shah. When this occurs, particularly when you're standing, sitting, or in an upright position, your muscles put in extra effort to ensure your head maintains balance with your pelvis "so one does not fall."
Dr. Shah continues to explain, "This balance of [the] head with respect to [the] pelvis is achieved by using the muscles that are in the back, shoulders, and neck. When these muscles fatigue, pain can ensue. Therefore, it follows that activities such as sitting in a pitched forward manner or working for prolonged times in one specific position can fatigue the muscles and lead to pain as well as poor posture."
Daily habits that have your muscles assuming a non-natural posture can result in fatigued muscles. Needless to say, sitting for an extended period of time—especially in a position where your neck is bent over, your low back is rounded, and your shoulders are drooped—wreaks havoc on your posture. "Such sitting can occur when one lays in a low chair, couch, or other stooped forward sitting arrangement," Dr. Shah tells us.
Leading an active lifestyle is crucial
In order to have a healthy posture, living an active lifestyle is key. It "primes the muscles to assume their optimal posture," Dr. Shah notes. Therefore, not including physical activity in your daily routine is a recipe for muscle fatigue and bad posture.
Getting active on a regular basis has been linked to a multitude of health benefits. According to Healthline, it can decrease your chance of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke in addition to enhancing your cognitive skills. Plus, it will help you keep up a healthy weight.
Consider taking a "layered approach" to improve your posture
When it comes to improving your posture, Dr. Shah notes he likes "a layered approach." He recommends starting with more aerobic activity on a daily basis. By enhancing blood flow to your muscles, they will "assume a more natural posture and be primed to adapt to the day's different posture demands while remaining resilient," he explains.
The second layer consists of practicing mindfulness when it comes to making sure your head stays centered over your pelvis. You should be thinking of this while standing or sitting for an extended period of time. In addition to staying mindful, you can also achieve this by utilizing the seat adjustment on your desk chair.
And lastly, steer clear of staying in a singular posture for a long time. "Maintaining a singular posture will enhance muscle fatigue and may contribute to poor posture," Dr. Shah says.