How many times have you caught yourself telling others “I know my posture is bad and I need to work on it”? If you’re like me, the answer is way too many times. We all know that poor posture is not good for us, but how in the world are you supposed to go about fixing your posture?
Fortunately, there are easy ways that you can start to improve your posture today. First you need to find good posture by using a mirror or taking a video of yourself on your phone so you can get a sense of what good posture feels like. If you can not achieve “perfect posture”, don’t worry. Just work on finding the position where you feel most upright and notice what you feel in your body while you’re in this position. If it is hard to hold the position or if you feel really tight in this position, this feedback will help guide you to home therapy exercises in TRCare’s library to address these limitations.
One of the best things you can do to improve your posture is to stay active
Any type of physical activity will help to improve your posture by exposing the muscles in your body to different positions and by improving circulation to these muscles. It has been shown that focusing on strengthening your core and back muscles is particularly helpful when it comes to being able to achieve an upright position with greater ease.
If you have experienced a stroke, you may be thinking to yourself that you are uncertain about how you could go about strengthening your core or back muscles right now. While you may not currently be able to start with strength exercises, you can still improve your posture by focusing on other types of exercises. You may simply start by trying to scoot forward in your chair and sit without your back touching the chair for greater lengths of time to build endurance for upright positions. Or perhaps you may benefit from passive stretches that help to loosen your chest and neck to make it easier to sit up tall. At TRCare, we have a variety of home exercise videos that can help guide you towards improving your posture.
Another simple way you can improve your posture almost immediately is to make sure your assistive device (cane, walker, etc.) is at the appropriate height. After a stroke or other injury, your assistive device is a powerful tool for assuring you can walk and stand safely, but if this device is too low it can cause you to lean forward and result in poor posture.
What you can do with your home computer to set yourself up for success with your posture
Now that you understand how you can move your body to fix your posture, let’s address what you can do with your home computer to set yourself up for success with your posture. Make sure your chair is not too low. A chair that is too low will cause your back to flex and put you in that classic slouched position. Once you know your chair is at a good height, make sure your desk height is not causing you to lean too far forward or make your neck have to strain to read the screen. The picture below will help you to better understand the distance from your screen that you should be aiming for and allows you to see that your elbows should generally be bent at a 90-degree angle with your desk height at about your belly button.
If you implement these tips starting today, you will thank yourself for years to come as you experience the benefits of developing good posture. And better yet, you may just find that the next time someone comments on your posture it’s a compliment!
For more information about what you can do to fix your posture and step-by-step video guidance on how to build a home exercise program for you, explore TRCare's online exercise portal today!