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How To Know If You Have Poor Posture

Posted by Dr. Donna Restivo on Oct 25, 2018 1:53:00 PM

In Health Tips, Fit at 50

At one point or another in our lives, we have all been told that our posture wasn’t up to par. Whether you were reprimanded for poor posture by a teacher in your school days or by a doctor in your adult life, we have all been suspects when it comes to the unnecessary slumping. It’s not easy to sit upright, keeping your core tight and shoulders back, which is why so many of us are caught hunched over, extending our necks out in a position that will inevitably land us right in a chiropractor’s or physical therapist office. In today’s world, we are extremely inclined to participate in poor posture, considering the majority of our working hours are spent in front of a computer and we are sitting more than ever before. Luckily, you can make a few simple changes to reverse your bad sitting and standing habits.

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Let’s start out by dissecting exactly what perfect posture is. While standing, alignment is key, and your shoulders, hips, ankles, knees and ears should look as if they are in one long line. The shoulders tend to be the biggest deterrent of good posture, which is why you will see people with shoulders that round forward, giving them a hunched over look. One way to determine whether you are suspect of the hunch, is to take a quick test. While standing, hang your hands down by your side. If the backs of your hands are facing forward instead of outward, then it’s a clear sign that you’ve got a case of rounded shoulders. You’ll want to make sure that your thumbs are facing forward, and the backs of your hands are facing outward. 

One of the biggest reasons for poor standing posture is the overcompensation of the shoulders, which will ultimately cause your upper back muscles to tense up. Believe it or not, your body will do as little work as possible to maintain good posture. 

When it comes to your sitting posture, there are a lot of little things involved, which is why it’s key to avoid allowing the chair to do all the work. Oftentimes, we lean forward so we have an easier time seeing the computer screen, but this will put unnecessary strain on your neck, leading to major spinal and musculature problems. When you sit, the key is to make sure your shoulders or ears are lined up. If you find that you are leaning forward to see the computer screen, the fix is simple…alter your work station and move the screen closer if you have to. If you are lucky enough to work in a place that has a standing desk, you’ll benefit greatly from standing while you work, at least for chunks of time. 

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