Learn tips to maintain proper posture while standing, sitting in a desk chair, sleeping and viewing handheld devices. If you want to make sure you have good posture, visit a chiropractor who can evaluate your posture and provide exercises to help improve it.
We know slouching is bad. But how can you tell if you are maintaining the best possible posture?
Dr. Scott Gardner: The best way is really to have a doctor of chiropractic do a postural evaluation, but there are a couple things that you can do at home to check for yourself. The easiest is to stand in front of a mirror and close your eyes. And then you nod your head up and down two times, and without moving, open your eyes and check to see if the head is leaning to the left or to the right. Also check and see if the shoulders are tilting to the left or right, and then you can also look at your pelvis to see if you’re shifting to the left or to the right.
What are some tips for sitting up straight in a desk chair?
Dr. Scott Gardner: We always want to start from the ground up. Both feet should always be flat on the floor. Really want to try to avoid crossing one leg or the other. Want to make sure that the top of the thighs are higher than the tops of the knees. Want to make sure that our shoulders are level. Want to make sure that our lower back is up against the chair itself so that we’re getting that support, and want to make sure that we’re not leaning on the armrest on either side.
Do we need to worry about our posture while we sleep?
Dr. Scott Gardner: Yes. It is always important to maintain good posture, even when we’re sleeping. Think about it. We’re probably spending anywhere from five, six, seven, eight hours sleeping, and want to make sure that we’re creating the best possible position to support our spine and nervous system. The best position is either going to be on our side and want to use a pillow between the knees and enough pillow so that our head is level. If we sleep on our back, a good idea is to keep the knees bent with a couple pillows under the backs of the knees to help for better alignment of the pelvis, and we definitely want to make sure that we never sleep on our stomach. That is the worst position.
Are there exercises that we can do to improve our posture?
Dr. Scott Gardner: Yes, there are several exercises that can help with posture. Really want to focus on strengthening the rhomboid muscles. Those are the muscles between our shoulder blades, and what they do is hold our shoulders back without us even having to think about it. So want to make sure that we’re working on keeping the head in line with our shoulders, as well.
What tips can we give kids to help them maintain good posture, especially while using handheld electronics, like iPads, tablets, and game controllers?
Dr. Scott Gardner: Any of the technology would be best held out in front of us. Want to make sure that we’re avoiding looking down, if at all possible. Getting them in the habit of looking out in front of them. What we teach them in our office is to stand up against a wall and keeping the butt, the back, and head against a wall, and you can’t look down. You can’t take your head away from the wall, so it teaches them to bring the technology up in front of them, instead of looking down.
If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Scott Gardner visit www.gardnerfamilychiro.com or call 973-614-9256 to schedule an appointment.