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3 Simple Ways to Improve Posture

Body, General

Healthy posture helps us stand, walk, sit and lie in positions that reduce the strain on our muscles and ligaments. But daily activities can affect this alignment, putting stress on our bodies that can lead to pain and long-lasting damage if left unchecked.  

“To maintain healthy posture, you need to have adequate and balanced muscle flexibility and strength, normal joint motion in the spine and other body regions, as well as efficient muscles on both sides of the spine,” says Joseph Iaccino, DC, a chiropractor at Adventist Health Clear Lake. “There’s so much more to it than just standing up straight.”  

Try these tips to help improve posture and reduce pain: 

  1. Limit the use of your mobile device. “‘Text neck’ is a relatively new phenomenon, caused by poor posture while hunched over your phone,” says Curtis Han, DC, a chiropractor at Adventist Health Clear Lake. The best way to prevent it? Try old-school forms of communication — call someone on the phone, type lengthier messages on your computer or invest in an external keyboard for your phone. 
  2. Overhaul your sleep setup. Poor bed ergonomics are a leading cause of aches and pains. Changing your sleep routine can help mitigate back and neck pain. “Sleep on your side or back, which is often helpful for back pain,” Dr. Iaccino recommends. “If you sleep on your side, place a pillow between your legs, and if you sleep on your back, keep a pillow under your knees. Try to avoid sleeping on your stomach as much as possible.” 
  3. Be mindful of your movement. Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods — aim to get up and move around at least once an hour. “This is especially important for people who work at a desk all day,” Dr. Han says. “Try setting a timer to remind yourself when it’s time to move, or invest in a standing desk that allows you to change things up while you work.”