Good posture is a key to overall health and fitness, but it’s easy to slip into bad habits. Here are 4 different areas to reflect on when it comes to good posture.

Stand with Good Posture

When you’re standing with good posture, your body should be aligned so that an imaginary line could be drawn from your feet through your head. Your back should be a little curved at the bottom, but project slightly outwards at your shoulder blades. If you’re slouching or hunching naturally, adjust this by puffing out your chest, rolling your shoulders back, and lifting your chin to look forward. Another great side effect of good posture is that it will boost your confidence.

Sit with Good Posture

Since much of our day is spent sitting, maintaining good posture in a chair is also crucial.

When you sit, place you feet on the floor, and bend your knees at right angles. Distribute your weight evenly. Place your arms on the sides of the chair or on your desk, relaxing your shoulders, and if your chair swivels, don’t use your waist to move it. Place your bottom at the back of the chair (where the cushion meets the back, effectively) and align your back with the back of the chair as much as possible, to maintain a straight line between your head and core. Try to avoid sitting in the same position for more than 30 minutes.

Move with Good Posture

Consider engaging in a routine like yoga, karate, or tai chi, which promotes good posture. If you lift weights, swim, bike, or run, ask a friend, mentor, or trainer to review your movements with you and make sure that you’re not doing anything that could implement or encourage bad posture.

Aside from planned exercise, whenever you are lifting objects off the floor, make sure you squat, bend your knees, and use your body to assist in the lift, instead of bending over, which is a surefire recipe for back pain.

Use Tools for Good Posture

Orthopedic shoes are not just for elderly people. Consider investing in specialized inserts for your shoes, and for that matter, good quality shoes as well; this is something many athletes do in order to stabilize their posture and movement.

At work, make sure you have a good quality chair, since you’ll be spending most of your day in it. If you’re doing heavy lifting, you might want to wear a lumbar support belt, and when you sleep, make sure you have a good quality mattress and pillow. There are plenty of ergonomic tools out there to assist in promoting good posture, so take advantage of them!

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You may also want to check out the post 4 Simple Exercises to Do at Work

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