4 Daily Activities to Modify If You Want Better Posture
If you think hunching over your laptop is the only thing that can take a toll on your posture then read on.
Posture Positions While Driving
You may not realize it but you tend to slouch while driving. Most car seats have been designed to be comfortable and are often overly cushy, making it difficult to maintain proper driving posture.
The driving guideline of hand placement on the steering wheel at 10 o’clock for the left hand and 2 o’clock for the right hand should be ignored by women simply because men have comparatively longer arms. Women who drive should instead position their left hand at 9 or 8 o’clock and their right hand at 3 or 4 o’clock since these particular placements don’t require the driver to extend their arms too far that they end up slouching forward.
Maintaining a “neutral” spine between 90 and 115 degrees while driving doesn’t mean you have to sit up in a perfectly straight position in which muscle fatigue can set in. If your car doesn’t have a lumbar support feature that’s supposed to help maintain the spine’s natural curve, place a medium-sized folded towel right behind the lower back to cushion it. If you’re driving for longer periods of time, make stops to get out of your vehicle and do some stretching every few hours.
Talking on the Phone
Do you know what “cubital tunnel syndrome” (CTS) means? That’s the pain you feel after holding a phone to the ear for a relatively long period of time. People usually cradle the phone between their shoulder and neck even if it’s already in their hand, compressing blood vessels and nerves in the elbows and shoulders that lead to pain and tingling sensation in the arm, and headaches.
Want to know if your posture is correct while gabbing on the phone? Glance at yourself in the mirror while you talk on the phone and check your posture. Stretch away as soon as you feel you’re falling back into CTS. With daily practice of handling the phone properly, you will soon have better posture without you even realizing it.
Soothe the scrunch in your neck muscles by tilting the head so that the left ear is close to the left shoulder, and then drape the left arm over the head, let the hand rest on the head’s right side, lightly stretch the neck and let the right hand hang straight downward. Hold this position for 10-12 seconds and repeat for the other side.
The Way You Carry Your Bag
The trend in oversized purses may be fashionable but it’s definitely bad news for posture lovers everywhere. Shoulder misalignment can result from lugging a bag that is not only heavy but bulky. How do you find out if the stuff you have in your bag is to match weight to carry around? Well, your shoulders and neck start to hurt after 10-15 minutes of toting the bag. Give your shoulders and neck a rest from time to time and get a wheeled bag instead of those oversized purses.
According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), you should only be carrying a bag that weighs 10% or less than your total body weight. If you weigh 120 pounds, for instance, your bag should only weigh 12 pounds for you not to stress your shoulders and neck. When you have to carry something heavier, alternate carrying your bag from one shoulder to the other every 5 minutes to avoid putting all the weight on just one side of the body.
While You Are Sleeping…
Improper sleeping position can be a major source of head, back, and neck pain. Waking up achy, run-down orstiff means that you have been sleeping in such a way that your spine’s natural curves are compromised. One culprit is overloading on pillows. You need cushioning when you sleep, yes, but it should be the kind that supports the neck’s inward curve. Fluffy pillows in a stack will just encourage a stiff neck.
Did you know that sleeping on one’s back is actually the healthiest position, but many people are more comfortable sleeping in other positions, which unfortunately, are bad for the posture. If you sleep on your stomach, protect your spine’s top vertebrae by placing a thin, medium sized pillow right under the abdomen.
The fetal position can be a trigger for pain because it strains the back. Switch to a more neutral position if you become aware that you have been sleeping in that position. Bringing about better posture is possible even while you’re in deep slumber. Correcting yourself during a night’s sleep will soon become routine for you and can gradually wean you away from the fetal position.
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