Our home is where we give most of our time to rest and feel relaxed. This is also a place where we enjoy doing our daily chores such as cooking, doing the laundry, fixing the sink, tending the garden, and cleaning the house. For some people, it is also a place where they perform their jobs as they choose to work from home. With all the many activities that we perform at home, it becomes unavoidable sometimes to experience pain due to improper posture. How to fix bad posture can sometimes be difficult, especially if you are still not aware of what are the proper ways to promote good posture at home.
Posture is defined as the position of how we hold our bodies while sitting, lying down, and standing. Good posture relates to the correct alignment of the body parts so we can feel comfortable and at ease while doing our jobs. It should be supported by the adequate amount of muscle tension against the force of gravity. We should learn how to practice good posture every day to ensure that we stay fit and healthy. However, we sometimes unconsciously maintain proper posture. We often forget that we slouch while sitting or leaning forward too much when we are standing. We then realized that we’re having a bad posture when we start feeling discomfort, fatigue and swelling in most of our body parts.
NHS UK Website listed some of the common posture mistakes and tips on how to fix them. Some of these mistakes include the following: slouching in a chair, leaning on one leg, wearing high heels, standing with a flat back, sticking your bottom out, poking your chin, hunched back, rounded shoulders, and cradling your phone.
The Impact of Good Posture
The impact of having a good posture is inevitable to all of us. It mainly helps in leading us to have optimum health. But of course, we should all be aware that having a good posture is more than just sitting properly or standing up straight. This is not only looking at your best. It is, in fact, a vital part of a long-term goal of acquiring good health. That is why it is important to keep your body posture the right way in every activity we do. When we choose to avoid bad posture, we are also making the decision to prevent injuries, pain, and other posture-related issues.
You may still be asking, why is good posture crucial for everyone to have? Proper posture aids us in sitting, standing, walking, and lying down with the appropriate positions without the strain and tension on our muscles, bones, and other body parts.
Aside from this, good posture also:
- reduces the stress on the spinal joints and your back, thus minimizing the risks of getting injured
- prevents strains on muscles and overusing them, therefore, lessening pains and letting the body to use less energy
- lets the body to work efficiently
- prevents fatigue
- keeps the bones, joints, and ligaments in their correct alignment
- alleviates abnormal wearing of the joint surfaces
- prevents joint pains and degenerative arthritis
Maintaining proper posture requires adequate muscle strength and flexibility. It is also needed to make yourself familiar with your postural habits at work and home. Awareness if they are good or bad, it is necessary to know how to fix them.
Effects of Bad Posture
Bad posture should be avoided or fixed, or else, it will put yourself at a big risk. Various factors are known to contribute to having a bad posture. These factors include weight issues, stress, weak muscles, wearing high-heeled shoes, lifting the wrong way, and working with the non-ergonomic tools and equipment.
As a result, bad posture can decrease flexibility, improper work posture, poor workplace, and unhealthy habits of sitting and standing. Most individuals also experience fatigue and discomfort at home due to a lot of chores and activities.
Tips on How to Fix Bad Posture
So, can we still correct a bad posture? The answer is yes. There are various ways on how to fix bad posture when we are at home. We must have a conscious awareness of the posture we keep every day. It may be challenging at first, but practice will help us do it correctly.
Whether you’re working in a home office or doing household chores, the following tips are advisable:
- Keep your feet on the floor
- Use a footrest if necessary
- Keep your knees below or at the level of your hips
- Avoid crossing your legs
- Make sure to keep your ankles in front of your knees
- Do not sit in the same position for long hours
- Have your forearms parallel to the ground
- Relax your shoulders when sitting
- Use a chair that has an adjustable backrest to support your back
- Maintain a small gap between the front of the seat and the back of your knees
- When doing chores such as cooking or preparing dishes, use a table that is perfect for your height
- Stand straight and tall
- Make sure that your weight should be mainly on the balls of your feet
- Keep your feet apart with a shoulder-width space between
- Keep your arms to hang down the sides of your body naturally
- Bend your knees slightly
- Tuck your stomach in
- Shift your weight from the toes to the heels, or from a foot to the other, especially if you’re standing for long hours
- Keep your head at the right level; wherein your earlobes must be in line with the shoulders
- Use an anti-fatigue mat to lessen or prevent having fatigue, discomfort, and having varicose veins
Medline Plus, a trusted source of health information shared one of its articles, some tips on how to improve posture when sitting and standing. Generally, you should consider the following tips.
- Ensure that your back is fully supported
- Avoid crossing your legs
- Stretch your muscles gently
- Relax your shoulders to avoid them being pulled backwards
- Take some walks around your home or office
- Switch between sitting and standing
- Make sure that your hips and thighs are well-supported
- Keep your elbows bent between 90 degrees to 120 degrees
- Stand up tall and straight
- Choose the right mattress when sleeping. For some people, softer mattresses are more comfortable and help in reducing back pain
- Sleep on your side or back with a pillow. This can help in preventing back pain. A quick reminder is to place a pillow between the legs when sleeping on your side. Also, put a pillow under your knees when sleeping on your back.
- Do not sleep on your stomach; it is considered a poor sleeping posture.
- Use special pillows when you have postural issues due to poor sleeping positions.
There are also advisable ways on how to keep a good posture when driving and when waiting in line. When you find yourself feeling uncomfortable with the daily things you do, it can be a sign that you should focus on how to fix bad posture. Taking care of your health is an essential practice that should start at home, and you must start today.