Guest Blogger: Jenna
There are many reasons you should want to avoid having bad posture—especially if, like the medical and self employed professionals, your eating habits are probably far below ideal. Bad posture puts a lot of pressure on your internal organs which can keep them from functioning properly. Bad posture can contribute to or even cause chronic back pain or other related problems.
The easiest way to ensure that you practice proper posture is to invest in ergonomic chairs and other equipment, like the kind you will find at Source Medical Equipment. Ergonomic chairs, stools, shoes, etc force you to sit properly. They can be expensive but the money this equipment will save you in future medical bills makes the current investment worth it.
If you can’t afford to buy name brand and medically endorsed ergonomic equipment, there are other things that you can do to make sure that your posture is correct:
First, re-teach yourself how to sit and stand up straight. Sit straight up. Rotate your shoulders back and down (pretend there is a clock facing outward on your shoulder and put your shoulders at the 7:30 position). Tilt your chin down just a tiny bit. If you are standing rock forward so that your weight is distributed on your feet in a 60/40 split: 60% on the balls of your feet, 40% on your heels.
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If you need help keeping good posture, try these tricks:
- Switch your cheapo desk chair out for a stool. Not having a chair-back to lean against forces you to sit up. Your stool should be low (or high) enough that you can sit with your feet flat on the floor and keep your knees bent at a ninety degree angle.
- Buy good shoes. You want shoes that support the arch of your foot and that are cushioned properly in the heels and toes. If you can’t afford good shoes, buy supportive insoles and put those into the shoes you can afford.
- When sitting in chairs, keep your feet flat on the floor. Don’t cross your legs, even at the ankles. Placing your feet flat on the floor forces you to sit slightly forward and keeps your torso upright (have you ever tried to slump backwards while keeping your feet flat on the floor? Ouch!).
- If you are short and have to raise your stool or chair up a lot because your desk is built for tall people, place something in front of it for your feet to rest on—a very low footstool, a phone book, etc.
- If you spend a lot of time on your feet, resist the urge to lean on counters or against walls when you need a bit of a rest. Instead, sit all the way down on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. This helps you keep your back straight and takes the weight off of your legs for a moment all at the same time.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to exercise regularly and to eat well! Failure to exercise and eating an unhealthy diet is going to cause you to gain weight, which makes practicing proper posture even more difficult. By eating well and working out regularly, you’ll lose weight and gain muscle tone, both of which make keeping good posture easier (and is just plain good for you all around).
There are lots of reasons to practice proper posture. When you first start sitting and standing this way it is going to be uncomfortable. If you keep doing it, though, you’ll find that after a few days sitting and standing any other way is what is uncomfortable.
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