Poor posture can lead to headache, neck pain, shoulder pain, low back pain, and fatigue.  Good posture projects confidence!  So, here are some images to help you improve your posture:

Images to help you improve your posture:

  • Sit or stand as if someone is gently pulling you up by your ears
  • Stand on your feet as if they each are tripods - there should be equal weight on the two sides of the balls of your feet and on your heels
  • Stand as if your body is a helium balloon and your feet are anchoring you to the ground
  • Sit as if your seat is a rocket ship and your heading for the moon
  • Pretend you have videocameras filming from the front of your shoulders and out your chest bone and you’re filming the scene in front of you
  • Spread your collar bones outward as if they are smiling
  • Pretend your knee caps are flashlights and they are shining forward
  • Pretend your pelvis is a bowl filled with water, maintain the alignment of your pelvis such that the water doesn’t spill forward or backward

Common misconceptions about posture:

  1. The spine should be flat and without any curves - Actually, there are natural curves in the spine.  Your vertebrae that support your neck and low back curve forward and the vertebrae that support your mid-back and sacrum curve backward.
  2. You should stand with your shoulders back, chest forward, and chin up (think military posture).  - Actually, your ears should be directly in line with the middle of your shoulders, your front ribs should not be flared open, and the tip of your nose should point straight in front of you.  
  3. Your posture is fixed and you cannot improve - It’s true that the muscles that support your posture are endurance muscles and they take time to train, but they can get stronger and support a new posture!  With some stretching, self-awareness, and persistence, you can improve your posture.  

Some tips for the desk jockeys

  • Take a 10 second break every 20 minutes.  During those 10 seconds, do one of the following: 
    • Roll your wrists
    • Change the focus of your eyes
    • Roll your shoulders backwards
    • Stretch your arms above your head or horizontally in front and behind you
    • Gently tilt your head side to side
    • Stand up 
    • Stretch one of your legs behind you (staying seated)
    • Gently twist your trunk in your chair
    • Touch your toes
    • Get some water

Post this guideline at your work station as a reminder!  

Written by Dr. Alyssa Herrera-Set, Physical Therapist - www.onthemovept.net