Slouching: Top Tips To Fix Your Posture
Having poor posture has become an all too common problem for many people. Slouching, or hunching forward, can lead to several physical and mental issues, including fatigue, neck pain, and even depression. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to fix your posture and improve your overall health. Here are our top tips to correct your posture and prevent slouching.
What is Slouching?
Slouching is an easily identifiable posture that involves sitting or standing with a curved back, shoulders rolled forward, and chin down. It can often lead to low self-esteem, poor posture, and even back pain. Though it’s not always an intentional act, slouching can become a habit that’s hard to break.
What Leads to a Slouching Habit?
Slouching is often caused by poor posture habits, muscular imbalances, and a lack of awareness. Sitting for prolonged periods with poor posture can cause the muscles in the chest, neck, and shoulders to become overstretched and weak, leading to a hunched-over posture. It can also be caused by a lifestyle that includes long hours of sitting or standing in one position.
3 Top Tips To Prevent Slouching
1. Strengthen Your Core Muscles
Core muscles are located in the centre of your body, including your abdominal muscles, lower back, hips, and glutes. Strengthening these muscles is key to improving your posture and preventing slouching.
The plank is one of the best exercises to strengthen your core muscles and prevent slouching. To do a plank:
- Start by getting into a push-up position but with your elbows bent and resting on the floor. Make sure your back is straight and your body is in a straight line from your head to your toes.
- Hold this position for as long as you can, building up to 30 seconds or more. This exercise will help to strengthen your abdominal and back muscles, which will help to keep your posture upright and your spine straight.
Another excellent exercise for strengthening your core muscles and preventing slouching is the bridge pose. To do a bridge pose:
- Start by lying down on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
- Lift your hips off the ground and hold the position for a few seconds before lowering your hips back to the ground. This exercise will help strengthen your glutes, lower back, and abdominal muscles, which are essential for good posture and prevent slouching.
2. Adjust Your Workstation
Slouching while working at your desk can have severe consequences for your health, including neck and back pain, poor posture, and even the development of other medical conditions. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to adjust your workstation and prevent slouching.
First and foremost, adjust your chair to the right height. Your feet should be flat on the ground, and your thighs should parallel the floor. Use a cushion or footrest to ensure your feet are adequately supported.
- Next, adjust your monitor. It should be at eye level and at least an arm's length away from you. Use a monitor stand or arm to raise the monitor to the correct level.
- Finally, make sure your keyboard and mouse are at a comfortable height. You should slightly bend your arms at the elbows, and your wrists should be level with the keyboard. You may need a keyboard tray or wrist rest to ensure your wrists are in the correct position.
3. Take Regular Breaks
Taking frequent breaks from sitting or standing for long is essential for maintaining good posture. When sitting, pay attention to your body’s position and ensure that your feet are flat on the floor, your back is straight, and your shoulders are relaxed. If you find yourself slouching, stretch or move around for a few moments.
It’s also a good idea to set reminders on your phone or computer to take regular breaks throughout the day. Taking a break can help prevent slouching and improve your posture, even if it's just a few minutes every hour.. You can stand up, stretch, walk around, exercise, or rest your eyes during breaks.
Breaking a Slouching Habit Takes Time & Consistency
It’s important to remember that breaking a slouching habit takes time and consistency, and you may need to practice good posture throughout the day to form the habit. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately – keep at it, and eventually, you’ll notice a difference.
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- Fortner, M. O., Oakley, P. A., & Harrison, D. E. (2017). Treating ‘slouchy’ (hyperkyphosis) posture with chiropractic biophysics®: a case report utilizing a multimodal mirror image® rehabilitation program. Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 29(8), 1475-1480. https://doi.org/10.1589/jpts.29.1475
- Kim, D., Cho, M., Park, Y., & Yang, Y. (2015). Effect of an exercise program for posture correction on musculoskeletal pain. Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 27(6), 1791-1794. https://doi.org/10.1589/jpts.27.1791 ‘
- Bayattork, M., Sköld, M. B., Sundstrup, E., & Andersen, L. L. (2020). Exercise interventions to improve postural malalignments in head, neck, and trunk among adolescents, adults, and older people: systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation, 16(1), 36-48. https://doi.org/10.12965/jer.2040034.017
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