When growing up, nearly everyone experienced being told by their parents, guardians, or teachers to stop slouching and fix their posture at some point.
Since you were younger, you probably did not realize how harmful having a bad posture can be to your health and life. Someone telling you that you need to learn how to improve your posture might have felt like they were just picking on you.
Now that you are older, perhaps you have realized the importance of a good posture and that is why you are here to learn how to improve.
Your posture says a lot about you, especially as an indicator of your self-confidence. And, unfortunately, you might have bad posture for various reasons, such as spending too much time sitting, your shoe choices, carrying heavy things, lack of self-confidence, having weak core muscles, age, or if you have a disability that prevents you from standing upright.
These are only a few of the many reasons why you could have poor posture. The risk of having a bad posture is even higher in this modern world because everyone is always slouching over a phone or computer.
Since it influences how others perceive you and your confidence, it is important to learn how to improve your posture. The fortunate thing is that whether you have had a hunching stance for many years or just started slouching recently, it is never too late to improve and correct bad posture. You only need to be willing to put in the work.
This post will provide some tips to help you learn how to improve your posture and stop slouching. But first, here is how to know you have bad posture.
10 Signs of Bad Posture
- Back pain and neck pain
- Muscle aches and fatigue
- Rounded shoulders
- A head that leans forward (text neck) or backward
- A hunched back and a tight chest
- Tilted pelvis
- Uneven shoulders
- Frequent headaches
- Bent knees
- Flat feet
How to Improve Your Posture
- Be more active
If you usually spend too much time sitting, whether while at work or home, it can take a toll on your back, thus leading to problems with posture. Therefore, when trying to learn how to improve your posture, you will need to make a lifestyle change and become more physically active.
Some ways to change from a sedentary lifestyle to a more active one include using a standing desk while working, taking breaks from work to move around and stretch, or getting out of the house to take walks.
If you are always too busy and can never get time to leave your desk, then more drastic measures such as quitting your job may be required.
By choosing to stay in such a working environment, you would be exposing yourself to the negative effects of bad posture on your health and well-being. So, put yourself first and change jobs if you can.
- Change your diet
Another reason for bad posture and a weak back is the food you eat. Thus, when learning how to improve your posture, you should include more foods that help to strengthen your spine, neck bones, and back bones in your diet.
Some of the best foods to eat for better spine health and strong bones include plant-based proteins (such as beans, lentils, and chia seeds), green leafy vegetables, fruits, and dairy products (cheese, milk, yogurt, and cheese).
- Choose your sleeping positions wisely
Did you know that how you sleep affects your posture? If you didn’t, now you know! Sleeping on your stomach or your side while using many pillows to support your neck strains your spine.
Such positions make your spine curve unnaturally, which can result in back pain and a bad posture. Thus, when learning how to improve your posture, you should also adopt better sleeping positions.
The best sleeping positions for a good posture are either lying on your back or side with a small pillow beneath your head and neck. These sleeping positions distribute your body weight evenly and keep your spine aligned and relaxed, thereby preventing back pain and fixing your posture.
READ ALSO: 8 Factors That Affect Weight besides Diet
- Posture exercises
The best way to learn how to improve your posture is by exercising. Posture exercises strengthen your core muscles and back, thus helping you stop slouching.
Some workouts for better posture include yoga, child’s pose, planks (side and high), Pilates, forward fold, arm circles, and shoulder blade squeezes.
Add posture exercises to your workout routine and do them regularly if you want to correct your posture.
- Stop carrying heavy things
Working in some jobs, such as those that require you to carry heavy things all the time, can be the reason you have bad posture. It could be the heavy objects you work with or things like your handbag, briefcase, or backpack.
Using the same shoulder or arm to carry these items all the time might result in one-sided stress and uneven development of muscles in your neck and shoulders.
Due to the muscle imbalance, you might notice signs of bad posture such as sloped or uneven shoulders.
When learning how to improve your posture, you have to be cautious with what you carry and how you do it. To avoid overusing one hand, you could train yourself to be ambidextrous.
In the case of a job that requires you to carry heavy things often, it might be best to start looking for better opportunities elsewhere to avoid messing up your posture irreparably.
- Work on your body image and self-confidence
Other reasons for bad posture could be that you lack self-confidence or are self-conscious about some parts of your body. Bad posture due to insecurities happens mostly in women and kids whose bodies begin to develop earlier than their peers.
For example, if you are insecure about your height, you might try to look shorter by slouching. After years of this bad posture, you adopt a hunching stance that seems to be set in stone.
If you want to learn how to improve your posture and stop slouching, you have to find ways to build your self-confidence and get rid of insecurities. Also, accept yourself and start loving your body the way it is.
Learning how to improve your posture can be a game-changer.
READ ALSO: 10 Reasons to Learn How to Love Your Body
- Use posture correctors
If you are exhibiting some signs of bad posture, consider using posture correctors to fix it.
Posture correctors are devices designed to help you stand straighter by training and supporting your muscles, spine, and bones. They help in realigning your body parts back to their correct positions and improving your flexibility or mobility.
Many doctors recommend posture correctors to their patients who have mild misalignment and posture issues.
People with disability can ask their NDIS plan managers for assistance when availing themselves of therapies and tools to correct their posture.
Learning how to improve your posture is not a one-day task, and it will require time and work. Like any other thing, you need to practice a lot if you want to get better and correct your posture for good.
Make a habit of standing up straight and tall; arms hanging down naturally on your sides; keeping your head level and your shoulders back while pulling in your abdomen, and putting your weight mainly on the balls of your feet that should be set shoulder-width apart. That is how you know you have mastered good posture.
According to studies, it takes 18 to 254 days to form a habit, and learning how to improve your posture is no exception.
Keep practicing, and within no time, you will have made standing up tall and having a good posture a habit.
Learning how to improve your posture has numerous other benefits besides helping boost your self-confidence.
Some benefits of good posture include improved balance, better breathing, less fatigue, reduced back pain, reduced risk of injury, and fewer headaches or muscle aches.
If you have started showing any signs of bad posture, start working to correct them using the above tips as soon as possible. Having a good posture will make you feel better about yourself.
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