We believe that if you change your posture, you truly can change your life. Sound a bit over the top and possibly far-fetched? Ask yourself how inspiring someone looks to you slumped in a chair, shoulders drawn and chin drooping. Science and research confirm that healthy and proper posture does affect our moods and our motivation.
Why Good Posture? When you sit up straight, your diaphragm is opened–helping you breathe better, lower stress hormones (cortisol) and achieve greater focus and energy.
Good posture starts with both an awareness of your current body position and a desire to change your posture. Achieving good posture means training your body to put the least amount of strain on your supporting muscles, ligaments and joints.
Step 1: Find your back’s “happy back position” by sitting or standing upright until your spine is in neutral position. There should be a slight natural curve in your lower back.
Step 2: Contract your body’s inner core called the Transversus Abdominis (TrA) by drawing your belly button inwards toward your spine. Contract your TrA multiple times during the day.
Step 3: Lift your chest slightly by extending your mid-back.
Step 4: Squeeze your shoulder blades together and down.
Step 5: Lengthen the back of your neck by slightly tucking your chin in.
Now take a deep breath and relax your shoulders while maintaining this position. At first it may feel difficult to maintain good posture for prolonged periods of time. Fear not, it will get easier over time and is definitely worth the health benefits.
Click here to watch Dr. Mark Barnes DPT on 5 Steps to Sitting with Better Posture.
Finally, When at Work Make the Best of Your Workspace. Since a lot of us are doing the majority of our sitting at work, it’s important to make the best of our workspaces. Without a proper workspace setup, we’re putting ourselves at risk for a number of health-related issues—from strained eyes, headaches and back aches to carpal tunnel syndrome, stress, musculoskeletal problems and more.
*Print out a PDF of the Ergonomic Workstation Card and put it by your desk as a reminder throughout the day