It’s no news that being stuck in our homes because of the pandemic has got us looking at our screens more and spending hours in one uncomfortable position without realizing. Sometimes, we forget that just because we’re working and studying in the environment we’re most comfortable in doesn’t mean we’re doing so in setups and positions that are best for our bodies.
If this sounds like something you struggle with, it’s time to do something about it. Here are five changes you can make to improve your posture.
Before anything else, brush up on proper posture
When we think about correct posture, the first thing that comes to mind is “straighten your back.” While this is right, there’s so much more to your body that you need to be aware of and need to check once in a while. There are tons of articles and videos on what the proper sitting position is. Here are the basics:
- Keep your back straight and shoulders back
- Straighten your neck and make sure your line of sight is aligned with the screen
- Keep back against the chair with proper lumbar support
- Keep feet flat on the floor
- Position knees at the same height or slightly lower than the hips
- Keep forearms and knees parallel to the floor
Exercise your core more
Being more active in general will do wonders for your body, and this is especially true when it comes to core exercises and posture. Strengthening your core doesn’t just help you keep proper form during workouts, it also helps you maintain proper posture throughout the day. So, incorporate those ab exercises into your workout routine!
Adjust your work setup
Sometimes, keeping a proper posture won’t mean anything if your workstation makes it easy to slip back into your previous posture. Small changes like adding lumbar support by adding a pillow or a rolled-up towel behind your back or putting something under your desk to plant and rest your feet on can do wonders.
Here’s a quick run-through on the perfect desk setup:
Take every opportunity to move
Keeping your body moving will make it easier for you to not only be aware of how you’re holding yourself but also to loosen it up. Staying in one position all day makes it more likely for you to abandon proper posture and tighten up your muscles. Take a couple minutes every hour to get up and get moving, whether it’s stretching and shaking out your limbs before going to the bathroom or getting up and moving in between tasks.
Make time in your day to stretch
It’s important for your workout routine to include stretches. Regularly stretching can loosen up your muscles, get your blood flowing, and make you more aware of your body. All these point to better posture, and if you’re already experiencing aches, stretching can relieve some of the tension causing it as well. Here are some stretching exercises that you can try:
Set up reminders for yourself
It’s easy to slip back into a slouch. What’s important is that you catch the posture Don’ts you’re committing and correct them as soon as you notice them. These reminders can be anything from hourly alarms to check in with your body or putting up post-it notes around your station that remind you to adjust.