The achy back, the hunched shoulders – bad posture affects many of us. In fact, an estimated 10% of people around the world suffer from posture-related issues such as lower back pain. Back pain is more than just an uncomfortable inconvenience – it affects people’s sleep, exercise and daily tasks.
A good posture is a key part of reducing chronic issues like back pain. A strong posture helps you:
- Reduce muscle pain
- Gain more energy
- Minimise your risk of injury
- Develop strength and flexibility
So what are the ways you can improve your posture? Read on for our everyday tips to help you stand taller and feel stronger.
1. Stretch it out with child’s pose
A staple in yoga practice, child’s pose is a restorative exercise that helps strengthen your spine. This is a great way to release back tension, while also stretching your glutes and hamstrings.
2. Strengthen your core
A strong core is a key part of a good posture. When your abs, obliques and hips are strengthened, you’re less likely to slouch and slump over. There are many ways to exercise your core, so choose the one you enjoy the most. That could be simple ab workouts and planks, a weekly pilates class, or why not try your hand at bouldering?
3. Sit up straight when driving
We often tend to slouch when we don’t think about it – be it at work, on the couch or running errands. Keeping a straight back while driving is one of the simplest ways to help improve posture. Try this by straightening up your seat and moving it closer to the steering wheel. Your knees should be at hip level or a little above, with a slight bend.
4. Don’t forget to stretch your neck
With the prevalence of smartphones, many of us fall into the habit of ‘text neck’. Tilting your head down to scroll through your phone puts a major strain on your spine. Try to be conscious of your posture when on your phone, laptop or reading. The simple act of lifting up your phone and moving your eyes instead of your head can do wonders for your posture.
5. Do your daily cat-cow
Another staple in the yogi’s toolbox, cat-cow pose is a great way to massage your back. It’s a simple transition between arching and curving your spine, paired with focussed breathing. Like child’s pose, it stretches out your lower spine, back, hips and core.
6. Move your weight to the balls of your feet
You’re more inclined to slouch when resting on your heels. An easy fix for this is to keep your weight on the balls of your feet. You’ll notice that your whole body straightens up when moving forward this way.