Six steps to good posture

12 September 2017 by
First published: 27 September 2017

Six steps to good posture

Suffering from backache? These six steps to good posture will help your back and improve your overall wellbeing.

Do you suffer from an achey, breaky back? So many of us struggle with back niggles on a daily basis and quite often it’s because of harmful habits that we’ve fallen into. HSL, the leading chair specialist, have collaborated with Occupational Therapist Julie Jennings to put together a handy guide on how you can improve your posture –and benefit your overall wellbeing in the long run.

Here are Julie’s 6 steps to good posture that you can easily incorporate into your day-to-day life.

Back straight

Keeping your back straight when you’re sitting down is so important. When slouching becomes second nature, this can be extremely damaging to your back and result in a number of issues. ‘Many of us develop what is often referred to as a “comfortposture”, a term which refers to the most comfortable position we adopt in a particular seat,’ Julie explains. ‘However if the seating does not provide adequate postural support then it can be detrimental to our overall health and fitness, leading to aches and pains and, at worse, damaged joints.’

Keep moving

Humans aren’t designed to remain sedentary for long periods of time, so sitting behind your desk at work for hours on end is definitely not a good idea. You should try breaking up your working day by going for a walk or perhaps investing in a standing desk. ‘Balancing periods of sitting with regular exercise is essential to promoting physical and mental health and wellbeing,’ says Julie. ‘It is essential to have the right chair, so that when you sit down you have good postural support allowing you to move better when you get up.’

Mind the gap

Changing the way you sit can feel really strange when you’re so used to sinking into the back of your chair and stretching your feet out under your desk, but becoming more aware of the way you sit and making small alterations could do your posture a whole lot of good. ‘Keeping a small gap between the back of the seat and your knees helps circulation and avoids pressure on essential nerves and capillaries. Having a well-adjusted seat will help reduce loss of balance when you stand.’

Uncross your legs

Old habits die hard, so learning how to stop yourself from crossing your legs is going to be tricky. As comfortable as it may feel to place one leg over the other, try your best not to. You’ll be doing yourself a favour! ‘Your knees should be at a right angle and either on level with, or slightly higher than, your hips,’ advises Julie. ‘Crossing your legs puts you at risk of increased blood pressure, varicose veins and many other health issues.’

Head up

It’s not just your back and legs that you need to think about when it comes to improving your posture. The way that you position your head can also affect your posture, which makes sense considering your head’s at the top of your spine. ‘Keeping your head upright avoids pressure on the top of the spine and promotes good overall posture,’ says Julie. Chin up!

Feet firm on the ground

Slumping lazily in a chair may have looked cool in your schooldays, but now it’s just making your body feel older than its years. Placing your feet firmly on the ground is a really useful way to realign the position of your spine. ‘Tucking your feet under a chair can become a bad habit when you’re sat down for a long time and it should be avoided,’ says Julie. ‘Tucking your feet under a chair can throw off your spine and hip alignment as well as cut off circulation to the rest of your body.’

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Six steps to good posture
Suffering from backache? These six steps to good posture will help your back and improve your overall wellbeing