Tired of slouching? We’ll help your back look like an exclamation mark in no time!
In today’s busy work environment – and with lots of us working from home due to unprecedented times – slouching over our desks has become part of the daily grind.
But just how takeaway coffee cups have become passee, so will slouching. And we’re here to help you pave the path to a slouch and pain-free life!
So without further ado, here are 5 ways to regain good posture and transform your spine into the body powering machine it should be.
5 Ways to Regain Good Posture
1. Re-learn what good posture means
What is “good posture”? In our modern western culture, good posture is standing straight. And what comes to mind resembles more a robot or a tin soldier figure than a limber, happy human.
But have you ever wondered how, for example, a woman from Nigeria can carry a huge basket on her head without experiencing any neck or back pain – throughout her life?! Esther Gokhale aka “the posture guru of Silicon Valley,” has.
In her bestselling book 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back, she identifies our slouching problems by questioning our heritage: “most pain can be attributed to how we hold ourselves and how we move. Since we aren’t born with a user’s manual, we rely on our culture to guide us. About a century ago, our culture took a wrong turn.”
What can you do about it? Be aware of your posture and focus on everyday movement. Keep paying attention to how you sit, sleep, stand, walk and bend, and choose movements that stretch your spine and reshape your body.
2. Use a foam roller
Did you know that by using a foam roller to decompress your spine you will gain a few inches (back)?! A-list celebrity trainer Lauren Roxburgh swears by this in her book Taller, Slimmer, Younger: 21 Days to a Foam Roller Physique. And it makes sense: for your body to be correctly aligned, your spine needs to be healthy and stretched.
Spinal decompression means elongating, while also stretching the neck muscles. This means improved blood flow and – you guessed it! – reduced slouching! And foam rolling will help you dramatically improve your stance.
Are you ready to roll?
3. Use a weighted hula hoop
How fun is hula hooping? If you’ve never tried it, you’re in for a treat! And better yet, you can directly get a weighted hula hoop to seriously train your core. Because too much weight around your belly adds stress to your back – and that’s a huge no-no when it comes to supporting your spine.
Ryan Hsu, Founder of CareMax and enthusiastic hula hooper says “a weighted Hula Hoop is designed to boost core muscle strength, which in turn protects your spine. It is a much more effective addition to your workout than a classic hoop because it helps you achieve the desired results faster.”
To start off, we recommend a hula hoop weighing 450 to 900 grams. That will prevent injuries and get you ready to strengthen your spine.
4. Use the right pillow
Why do all the work in your waking hours when you can let a good sleeping position improve the posture for you?
Finding the perfect pillow might take a while, but it’s so, so worth it. According to James Clear, New York Times bestselling writer of Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, “one of the most practical ways to automate good habits is to look for onetime choices that require a little bit of effort up front but create increasing value over time.”
And by investing in a good, ergonomic pillow that supports your neck and the natural curvature of your spine – no matter the position you sleep in – you’re creating an effortless, onetime habit that will help you get rid of the slouch.
5. Take breaks
When working, it’s easy to forget to move. And by the end of the day, you find yourself slouching, leaning over your desk, your back stiff and your whole posture a mess.
This is why it’s so important to remember to get up from your desk at regular intervals, take short breaks when you walk around the room and do some light stretching such as shoulder rolls.
An easy way to incorporate this into your daily working routine is to designate a specific time when to do this. For example, getting up every half hour for two minutes. Use your smartwatch for reminders if you have one, if not, there are plenty of mobile and desktop apps that can help.
A good posture has many benefits for your health. When you fix the slouch you also gain improved balance, lower risk of injury, better circulation and more energy! And who doesn’t want more of those?!