How Your Posture Affects Your Joints
No matter how many times your mom told you to ‘sit up straight’, the idea of having good posture isn’t one that’s really stuck with a lot of people. Especially with the majority of individuals working in an office environment, often hunched over a computer for most of the day. We find ourselves slouching more and more often, and while we don’t see the negative effects of this right away, they’re still there. Having bad posture isn’t your body’s natural state, and hunching or crouching over on a daily basis puts strains on your joints, wearing them down in an unnatural way. If you’re experiencing back pain, it’s possible that your posture is at fault. A licensed professional will be able to fully diagnose you and help you take the steps necessary to improve your back. However, there are a few things you can do to improve your posture on your own.
Standing vs Sitting
Although standing doesn’t seem as comfortable as sitting, you’re less likely to slouch if you’re standing. If you have the option to stand instead of sit at work, take advantage of this. If you can’t convert your desk to standing, take time out of your work day at least twice to stand up and go for a short walk, stretching your back while you’re doing it. This will help release the strain on the joints in your spine.
Try a yoga ball
If you can’t stand at your desk at work, try replacing your chair with a yoga ball. The nature of a yoga ball forces you to sit up straight, as your entire core is engaged as you sit. Even if you don’t adopt this habit for the entire work day, it can be helpful to do this even if for just a few hours out of your work day.
A lot of athletic people use foam rollers to ease muscle tension in sore muscles. This same foam roller can help with the joints in your back. Place the foam roller on the floor, and lay back on it, slowly rolling your back over the roller. This will promote good circulation in your spine and help keep your back from developing a hump as a result of constant slouching.
Whenever you’re standing in line waiting at the grocery store or bank, practice standing up straight. Place your feet at hip width apart, square your shoulders, and hold your head up. Just simply practicing this will help you train your body to default to standing up straight, rather than constantly slouching.