Posture: How Can Good Habits Fix That Bad Spine?
Aon Health & Wellbeing Conversation #7
Many of us go on about our day slouching, stooping to look down on gadgets, carrying heavy loads, and/or sleeping in the wrong position. We are so busy with our daily activities and grow accustomed to chronic aches and pains. What are the ways you can pay attention to your posture, and promote a neutral spine?
‘Neutral spine’ is the natural position of the spine when all three natural curves are present and properly aligned. Proper posture means keeping these natural curvatures, so your muscles don’t get overworked and create irreparable damage over time. With a neutral spine, you will also eliminate injuries and chronic aches and pains – as well as avoid the many complications bad posture could render your body. These include:
- Digestive problems such as heartburn, incontinence, and constipation
- Muscle and joint problems such as musculoskeletal system misalignment causing jaw, neck, shoulder, back, hip, and knee tension and pain; arthritis due to prolonged inflammations; and loss of balance and lack of flexibility
- Difficulty in breathing due to a compressed diaphragm
- Headache due to tension on the neck
- Varicose veins due to poor blood circulation
- Fatigue and mood changes
How can you keep your posture in check?
Here are a few tips:
- Avoid slouching! Sit up and stand tall, with your head pulled back, shoulders on level, arms falling relaxed, and feet level on the ground
- Interact in person! Stop checking your mobile phones to avoid looking down for extended periods and having ‘text neck’
- Save your stilettos for big events! Choose a more comfortable pair of shoes for daily wear
- Pillows are friends! Best to have a small pillow for lumbar support while sitting or driving. While sleeping, ensure your neck is supported with a pillow that levels it to the spine; thicker pillows if you sleep on your side; and flatter ones if you sleep on your back
- Exercise! Toning your abs allows you to have stronger spinal support