Article contributed by Dr. Sebastian Kverneland
Unfortunately with 2020’s working from home restrictions, I have had an uptick in patients with preventable ailments. Not having a great work setup and routines have had a significant impact on my patients. Although posture is a by-product it is a great way to keep your body in balance.
You can improve your posture at any age, but the sooner the better. The longer you wait with aiding your posture, the more damage you can put on your body. The best way to improve it is to start taking measures in your daily life and be conscious of wanting to improve. The good news is that changing posture is very much possible.
I have been working with patients for years and seen the great results that a positive attitude and lifestyle changes can do. To help you improve your posture, here are five steps that you can start with right away.
1. Get in the right mindset and recruit a friend
Being aware of wanting to make a change is a great first step in improving your posture. Make a plan of what steps you are going to take and give yourself a pep talk. Be kind to yourself and keep up the motivation. It takes up to 5 weeks to make new actions habits and so create a timeline and keep it. Can also recommend recruiting a friend for accountability and motivation.
2. Focus on not slouching
Just focusing on not slouching is another great way to improve your posture. Make reminders on your phone or post-its in your house and it will go a long way in helping you stand and sit straighter.
3. Look up more
Day after day of looking down is bad for your posture. The head is tilted, and stress is put on the muscles and joints of the neck. This stress alongside straining the eyes can cause headaches and prolonged poor posture will eventually lead to degeneration and poor posture. Holding your phone straight in front of your face (as if you were taking a photo) and lifting your PC screen will help your posture.
4. The right fit bra and comfortable clothing.
Having the wrong bra can impact your posture as it can inhibit a muscle called serratus anterior and this muscle needs to be strong to give you a good posture. When this muscle gets weak it will cause shoulders to roll forward and cause your shoulder blades to wing and your back to slouch. The best is to wear a bra that has no wires or the very least wear one that is the correct size and not too tight.
Make sure to incorporate a stretching routine for the neck and back. Stretching these muscles will help muscles get relief, decrease tension, and help your posture. As little as 5 minutes can do wonders and a good way to incorporate stretching is to do it while watching TV. At Scandinavian Health Institute we have our posture program that our patients use (you can get the 5-week posture program here).
I know you can do this! And your body will thank you for it. Keep me posted on your progression.
Dr. Sebastian Kverneland is the founder of the Scandinavian Health Institute in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Kverneland’s goal is to find the root cause of pain and he specializes in headaches, neck, back, and chronic pain. Kverneland holds a Doctorate in Chiropractic from Southern California University of Health Sciences and is in the process of being certified by the Institute of Functional Medicine. His work has been featured in publications such as New York Post, Martha Stewart, Yahoo, MSN, and Thrive Global.