‘Stand Up Straight’: What Healthy Posture Is And How To Maintain It

From Mayo Clinic News Network
Mayo Clinic News Network.

ROCHESTER, Minn.

Modern lifestyle factors, such as texting, reaching for your keyboard or wearing high heels, can create postural stressors that often cause muscle imbalances and injury. Having good posture is essential for good health; however, understanding what good posture is and maintaining it are hard.

“When some people try to work on their posture, they tend to overdo it,” says Alynn Kakuk, physical therapist at the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program. “They get into a super-extended position with their shoulders way back, enough that it creates too much of an arch on their back. So, they just start shifting their weight too far back.” Bad posture habits can cause imbalanced body alignment, strain on ligaments and muscles, chronic pain, injuries, impingement, low back pain, neck pain, hip pain, joint stiffness and muscle tightness, according to Kakuk.

Simple exercises, stretches and being conscious of your posture can eliminate these ramifications.

Stand up against a wall, and make sure your upper back, shoulders and bottom touch the wall. Your feet don’t have to be against the wall, just a couple of inches away from it. You should have a slight space in your lower back and be able to fit your hands in that space. But make sure it’s not a big gap. Then, step away from the wall, and try to see if you can maintain that position. Keep in mind, strengthening your muscles will make it easier for you to maintain that posture over time. Be careful of overdoing it or hyper-extending your back.

In a world filled with modern technology, reaching for your cellphone and keyboard are common movements. These movements can place stress on your upper back and neck, resulting in rounded shoulders and forward head. This can cause chronic upper back, shoulder, neck pain and headaches. Also, people may text so much that they develop pain and injury in their thumbs from that overuse. Here are some tips on how to maintain the correct posture while using technology.

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