So you sit at work for forty or more hours a week and your posture has become terrible.
It’s happened to a lot of people. Hell, even my posture isn’t phenomenal. But it’s better than most keyboard warriors. And there’s only one reason why:
I make it a habit to check it throughout the day.
Answer this: right now, as you’re reading this, are you sitting up straight in a good posture position? Or are you slouching?
Chances are, if you don’t think about it and you already have poor posture, you were probably slouching. And when you read that, you fixed it up quick.
That’s literally 85% of the fight to better posture.
You have to:
- Think about your posture
- Correct your posture throughout the day.
No, seriously. There are no “stretches” or “workout routines” that will fix it for you.
Stretches and strengthening the muscles will help you get there, but at the end of the day you have to make it a habit to sit in good posture.
Spending 30 minutes a day stretching/working out those muscles will not offset the other 12+ hours a day you are slouching. It just won’t cut it.
Having good posture intentionally by forcing yourself into that position is the majority of the fight. It is the only thing that will fix your bad posture.
And guess what? You’ll be sore. It will be uncomfortable. Fight through that. Give it like 2-3 months. Over time, those muscles will adapt and it won’t be a struggle like it is at the start.
It is not easy, and it is tiring. It’s not something that will be fixed quickly. Work up to it, sit perfect for small amounts of time. Then work on building up that time.
Here’s how to do it.
- Don’t slouch
- Sit up straight (on the bony part of the butt)
- Open your chest up
- Open your chest up
- Point your feet straight ahead, evenly spaced out
- Imagine a balloon pulling you up
- Make sure your head isn’t stuck forward (computer screen phenomena)
- Shoulders back
- Try sleeping on your back if you can. It is naturally the most posture-friendly position
- If you must sleep on your side, make sure you have a pillow between your legs for proper support
- Do not sleep on your stomach
Changing your posture is a slow journey. A very slow one. Work up to it. Don’t expect it to be fixed in a week. And don’t give up in two weeks.
You’ll be sore, it will suck. You will have to constantly remind yourself to get in a better posture. But over time, it comes a lot more natural. Eventually, you won’t have to think about it. It will become second nature.
The results are worth it. Bad posture is horrifically unattractive, and it’s damaging to your health. Good posture indicates strength and health. Work on it.
And remember: the stretches and workouts are only 15%. 85% is correcting your bad habits throughout the day. You won’t fix it otherwise. You can fix it entirely by making it a habit to be mindful.
No piece of support can cure it either.
You can try a posture brace. But it won’t fix it. It will just teach you how to be in the correct position as you’re going about your day.
If you use them too much, you’ll become dependent on them. They fix your posture immediately, but not long-term.
So I don’t recommend them as a cure, but a posture brace is useful in two circumstances:
- You need to learn the correct posture positions
- You use it lightly as a way to remind yourself to hold yourself in good posture.
Most importantly, the second bullet point. Posture braces can be helpful if you just need a reminder. They are there, and they will remind you.They are also cheap enough to justify it if you need that reminder.
Just don’t make them tight or wear them excessively.
Then you won’t rely on them to fix the habit.
But keep in mind that you should not use them as a crutch.
You have to fix those habits first and foremost. It sucks, you will be sore, and it’s difficult. But the results are well worth the sweat and tears put in.
Practice good habits, and come back to me in a month. You’ll definitely notice a difference.