Physiotherapists at The Hatfield Practice will often as part of your treatment give postural advice. Whether you spend the majority of your time sitting at home, at work or out exercising and sometimes a mixture of all three – a good posture can seriously help long term back/spine health. A good stance and posture also can reflect a positive mental well-being. Here are some tips from our Osteopaths and Physiotherapists to help in keeping that back straight..
#1 Pull those shoulder blades back
It sounds straight forward, but it can easily be forgotten. This position will allow for the chest to push out, lengthen the neck and open the spine. Impoving shoulder girdle position will help to avoid rounded shoulders and forces the spine to remain straight for longer periods of time.
#2 Invest in furniture and equipment that supports good posture
Seats, sofas, desks, screen placement often can contribute to the the position of the body. Equipment such as a lumbar pillow supports can influence the spine to remain straight and pushes the lower back into sitting up straight every time; a rolled up towel can often be a quick fix solution for this! Office chairs can often deteriorate over time – it is extremely important to replace them when possible after obvious signs of use. Screen placement on a desk will set the level of sight for the eye, the body naturally reacts and can change shape to comfort eyesight, so it is important to ensure the monitor is at the correct height to reduce the risk of slouching or neck stiffness.
#3 Don’t sit still for too long
The importance of frequent movement to stretch those legs and the remainder of the body should not be ignored. A way of overcoming this is by setting a reminder to get up every 30 minutes and refill your bottle of water; not only will this keep you hydrated and more alert, it will provide a prompt to keep that posture in the correct form!
#4 Sleep in the correct position
Enjoying your sleep is vital as this helps to replenish your body. Health professionals suggest that sleeping on your back, also known in yoga as the Savasana pose. This posture is great for the neck, back and spine as the body is stretched out and is less likely to force the body into any irregular shapes and bends while sleeping. Although we are all unique and different positions suit different people.
Your mattress at home should be designed to support the spine and sleeping on your back gets the most out of the mattress support. It is advised against sleeping on your stomach (even though it can be comfy!) as it flattens the natural curve of the spine. Perhaps alternate night to night if you find sleeping on the back difficult !
#5 Strengthen your central core
Yoga and Pilates are great ways of building up core strength and good posture. Core exercises can often be completed within a 20 – 30 minute period. These types of exercises can set the stone for a good posture; they can help boost physical performance and natural energy levels.