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How is your posture affecting your health?

Hipster got bored from all the work

The proper positioning of your body whilst sitting, standing and sleeping is important for several reasons. Balanced posture ensures that there are minimal and equal amounts of stress on all joints and supporting ligaments, tendons and muscles. Poor posture may be visually unappealing, but more importantly it can lead to chronic discomfort, fatigue, headaches, more injuries, degenerative arthritis, nerve dysfunction, digestive problems and breathing difficulties. Here are some of the keys to healthy posture:

Sitting

Sit with your feet firmly on the floor and your knees and hips bent to 90 degrees. Roll your shoulders backwards and then down. Your pelvis should be rocked forward to brace your core muscles. Your ears should be in line vertically with your shoulders, which are also in line with your hips. If you are in front of a computer or a electronic device the screen it should ideally be at eye-level to avoid forward head carriage. To help keep your shoulders back, stretching your pectoral muscles and strengthening your rhomboid (shoulder blade) muscles can help.

Avoid:

–       Sitting on your wallet, phone or keys

–       Extended periods of sitting (break it up with regular walking/stretching)

–       Crossing your legs

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Standing

When you are standing, try to imaging observing yourself from side-on. Your shoulders, hips and ankles should all be aligned vertically. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, with ‘soft knees’ –not locked. Your spine should be upright with your shoulders pulled back and then down.

 Sleeping

Sleeping on your side places the least amount of stress on your spine. Your pillow should be at the right height so that your head and neck are not tilted up or down, and your knees should be stacked together to avoid twisting through your pelvis and spine. Sleeping on your back is also acceptable, and a cushion underneath your knees can reduce tension on your spine.

Avoid:

–       Sleeping on your stomach

–       Twisting through your spine

–       Overly soft mattresses

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These tips are just some of the pieces of the posture puzzle. Other factors include core strength, flexibility, eyesight, furniture quality, and regular chiropractic care!

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