Modern conveniences and busy schedules have made it easier to slouch. Slouching can cause big health problems over time, including headaches, pulled muscles, and back pain. Prolonged slouching also leads to musculoskeletal stress on the vertebrae and the discs between the vertebrae. To avoid these types of problems, you can follow some simple recommendations to stop slouching.
Method 1 of 3: Identify Good Posture
Step 1. Maintain good posture while sitting
Your body has natural curves and good posture helps promote them. To have good posture while sitting, you should roll your shoulders back, push your chest out, and keep your back straight. To keep your shoulders back, you need to move them back and push your chest out more. You should also feel your head move back. This will push your chest out and tuck in your abdominal muscles.
- As you roll your shoulders back and push your chest out, your back should naturally straighten.
- Make sure to keep your shoulders straight and relaxed. They should not be too high, curved or pulled back.
Step 2. Stand up straight
Now that your shoulders and chest are aligned, it is time to learn to stand and walk with better posture. Start with your shoulders pulled back and relaxed and your abdomen contracted. Keep your feet hip-width apart and balance your weight on both feet. Relax your knees and put your arms at your sides.
It should feel like there is a rope running from the bottom of your feet to the top of your head, which keeps your body aligned and balanced
Step 3. Check your posture
To check your posture, you need to stand against the wall. Your head, shoulder blades, and buttocks should touch the wall, and your heels should be 2 to 4 inches from the wall. With the palms of your hands, go over the area of the wall next to your lower back. If you have good posture, your hand should fit in the area.
- If there is more than a foot of space, it means that you are pushing your stomach and hips too far. You must contract your abs and press your back closer to the wall.
- If your hand does not fit, it means that you are slouching too much and should throw your shoulders back.
Method 2 of 3: Change Your Everyday Life
Step 1. Have a better posture at work
Many people have jobs where they have to sit at a desk. This is one of the main places you can hunch over the most. As the day goes on, you slowly lean toward your computer or desk while working on documents. If you sit too far forward, you put pressure on your pubic bone. If you sit too far back, you put pressure on your tailbone. To stop doing this, you should lean back in the chair, keeping your back against the backrest.
- If you feel like you are too far from the desk or computer, pull your chair closer or move the monitor closer to you on the desk.
- If you're still slouching, try setting an alarm on your phone that reminds you every hour to sit up straighter. This will help you get used to it, and in time, you won't need the reminder.
Step 2. Sit in a better position
In all aspects of your life, you must sit properly to avoid muscle and back problems. You want to find a comfortable midrange where everything naturally lines up. Sit with your feet on the floor and center your weight between your buttocks and your pubic bone.
You should do this wherever you sit. For example, make sure you are comfortable and sit upright in the car, especially if it is a long trip. Use a pillow or adjust the seat to align and center your back and spine as you drive
Step 3. Look in the mirror
To assess how normal your posture is, you need to assess how you stand. Look in a mirror and stand like you always do. If your palms are in front of your thighs and your thumbs are pointing forward, you have good posture. If your hands rest in front of or behind your thighs or if your palms are turned back, then it means you have poor posture.
- If you have poor posture, put your head back and lower your shoulders and back. This will realign your spine and get your posture at the correct angle.
- If you feel like your chest is out, then you are standing correctly.
Step 4. Stretch when you stand up
When you have to be in one position for a long time, you should stretch. This should be done at your desk at work, in your car, or on the couch while watching movies. To stretch your back and spine, put your hands on your lower back when standing up and your fingers down. Lean back as far as you can and hold for a few seconds. Repeat this a few times to relax your back.
- If you are at home, you can also lie on the floor with your weight on your elbows. Inflate your chest, stretching your lower back and spine.
- Only do these exercises to the point where your muscles feel comfortable. Don't overstretch your muscles, as you can cause injury.
Step 5. Check your sleeping posture
You may have poor sleeping posture that is reflected in your normal posture when you wake up. If you sleep on your side, try putting a pillow between your knees to ease the strain on your lower back. If you sleep on your back, you can put a pillow under your knees to ease the tension on your back while you sleep.
You should not sleep on your stomach. This position puts too much stress on your neck while you sleep
Step 6. Balance the weight you are carrying
Sometimes you need to carry something that is heavy (like a large purse, backpack, or luggage). When dealing with these types of loads, you should try to balance the weight as much as possible to keep muscle and joint tension to a minimum. If the weight is balanced, you can also maintain a normal, straight posture while walking.
In order to balance the load, you should use bags that distribute the weight evenly (such as a backpack or rolling luggage)
Step 7. Make a lower back pad
When you are at work, in the house or in the car, you can sit for a long time, which will cause you to start to feel pain in your lower back. To prevent this, you can make a pad and place it next to your lower back in order to maintain a more upright posture. Take a towel and fold it in half and then in half again. Roll it up into a cylinder, starting from the long rectangle, to make a fluffy pillow to put on your chair.
If the bath towel is too big, you can try a hand towel. Just fold it in half once and roll it up like a small pillow for your back
Method 3 of 3: Stretch and Exercise
Step 1. Strengthen your core
The muscles in the core run from the area around the rib cage to about the middle of the thigh. These muscles work together so that you can stand up straight and regulate your posture. You should do exercises that strengthen these muscles to improve your posture and your overall health.
Try exercises that work all the muscles in this group. For example, lie on the floor with your legs bent over you, putting your feet against the wall. Engage your abs, extend one leg almost level with the floor, and straighten it as you do this. Hold this position for a second before lifting it back up. Repeat the operation with the other leg. Do 20 sets of this exercise
Step 2. Increase the flexibility of your neck
Lack of flexibility causes muscle imbalance and poor body alignment. You should do more stretches that help with flexibility in your back, arms, and core. You should also incorporate these exercises into your daily routine at work, in which you should stretch periodically throughout the day to increase your muscle flexibility even if you are static.
- Try simple neck stretches and stretches for back flexibility. Stand up or sit up straight. Throw your head back and center it on your spine. Roll your shoulders back and down and bend your arms, moving them down as if you wanted to put your elbows in your back pockets. Stretch your palms out and hold this position for at least 6 seconds.
- Repeat this exercise a few times throughout the day to increase flexibility.
Step 3. Try the superman stretch
To maintain your posture, you need to exercise your back muscles. To do the superman stretch, lie face down on the floor and extend both arms over your head. Flip your thumbs toward the ceiling. Squeeze your glutes, contract your core, and lift your arms, head, and legs approximately 4 inches (10 centimeters) off the floor. Hold this position for 2 seconds, then lower your limbs back to the ground.
You must repeat this movement 15 times to strengthen your shoulders and activate the muscles that strengthen your spine
Step 4. Try exercises T and W
A good way to improve your posture is by increasing the strength in your back. To do the T exercise, lie face down on the floor and extend your arms to your sides, forming a T with your body. Flip your thumbs toward the ceiling while contracting your abs and glutes. Try to bring your shoulder blades together and raise your arms towards the ceiling as far as you can. Hold this position for 2 seconds and then lower your arms. Repeat this exercise 15 times.
- To do the W exercise, lie on your stomach with your upper arms extended across your shoulders. Bend your arms so your forearms are parallel to your neck and turn your thumbs toward the ceiling to form a W. Contract your abs and glutes, bringing your shoulder blades together and lifting your arms toward the ceiling. Hold this position for 2 seconds. Repeat this exercise 15 times.
- These exercises work the muscles that connect your shoulder blades to your spine, strengthening spinal alignment and improving your posture.
Step 5. Do a chest stretch
The chest muscles can help with your posture. To stretch them, find a corner and stand in front of it. Raise your bent arms, placing your forearms on the wall with your palms placed slightly below shoulder height. Slowly bring your shoulder blades together, leaning toward the corner.
Hold this stretch for 3 seconds. Repeat this exercise 12 times
Step 6. Do the door stretch
The looseness and strength of your chest play a role as you hunch over. To build flexibility and strength in these muscles, stand in a doorway and hold your arm at your side at a 90-degree angle. Keep your elbow level with your shoulder and place your arm on the doorjamb. Slowly lean forward, away from the door and leaning your arm against the jamb. Hold this position for 30 seconds and then release it.
- Repeat this exercise with the opposite arm. You can also repeat this exercise several times a day.
- To stretch your upper and lower chest muscles, repeat this exercise by placing your arm lower and higher than the door jamb.
Step 7. Try shoulder dislocations
Although this exercise sounds dangerous, it does not cause shoulder dislocations. It helps make your shoulders more flexible, which will keep your chest up and your back straight. To perform this exercise, you need a broomstick or PVC pipe that is 1.5 meters (5 feet) high. Hold the stick in front of you with both hands, resting it on your thighs. Slowly lift the stick from your thighs, raising your arms above your head and lowering them around your body until the stick rests on the back of your legs. Then repeat this exercise.
- Do 3 sets of 10 reps, in which one rep is the complete rotation of your arms.
- You should start with open arms and then bring them together, if you can. The closer your hands are to each other on the stick, the deeper the stretch will go.
- Make sure to do it "slowly." You must be careful not to injure yourself by doing it too fast.
Step 8. Try to do chest extensions
The thoracic spine is the midsection of the spine. You have to keep it loose so it doesn't sag or freeze. For this exercise, you need a foam roller. Place the foam roller under your upper back with your feet and buttocks on the floor. Place your hands behind your head and your elbows as close to your ears as possible. Let your head fall back, curving your back around the foam roller. Do this exercise for 15 seconds and start over.