As we learned earlier this month in a previous article, there have been long-standing discussions linking poor posture and depression. Of course, it’s not shocking that the two are tied to one another. Slumping compresses the front of the body and weakens the back, which can impact breathing and digestion. When you think of a happy, confident person, you most likely don’t imagine them slumped over in a chair – instead you probably picture him or her standing in a regal fashion.
If you suffer from poor posture, or have a client who suffers with this ailment, I have outlined several tips to help improve the situation.
Tips for proper alignment while sitting:
-Rest feet on the floor in a flat position with toes pointed forward. Allow three to four inches between the feet.
-Sit on the edge of the chair’s seat. Give the spine the opportunity to support itself instead of resting on the seat’s back.
-Set knees at hip height. Remember, the height of the chair might need adjusted, or a small stool may be required to raise the knees.
-Pull the navel in slightly. This lengthens the tailbone and removes the curve from the lower back.
-Keep ribs resting close to the spine as much as possible.
-Make sure ears are directly above your shoulders and that shoulders are in line, as much as possible, with the hips.
Tips for proper alignment while standing:
-Just like we described above, keep feet flat on the floor with toes pointing forward and three to four inches between feet. Ensure weight is centered between the heel and the mid-foot.
-Keep the knees firm without locking them.
-Make sure the hips are stacked over the center of the ankles and that the rib cage is stacked over your hips.
-Stack shoulders over the center of the rib cage, with ears directly over the shoulders.
If you have a client who is hesitant to improve their posture, remind them of the benefits of good posture and that it is an extremely important part of healthy living. Comparing bad posture to poor nutrition and lack of exercise might get them to change their ways!