Want to feel unstoppable? Stand up, throw your shoulders back and your chest out, raise your head proudly and hold your hands in fists by your sides. This is the “superhero” pose– so called because every superhero movie seems to show the heroes in this stance.
It’s a powerful way of standing.
It says, “I’m here and I’m ready.”
If you haven’t already, go ahead and try it!
Ok. When the occasion doesn’t call for standing like a superhero – it’d be a little odd in the grocery line for instance – you can also try the American Chiropractic Association’s guide to great posture.
Why Better Posture Improves Your Mood
One reason your posture affects your mood is that sitting slumped over restricts oxygen flow into the brain. Studies show that even those diagnosed with depression will feel better if they sit up taller. You feel more energetic when you improve your posture too. Plus, lousy posture takes a toll on your joints.
And while it’s no secret that sitting slumped over can make you feel tired and irritable, but you may not have realized, it can also contribute to back, neck, and wrist pain and even carpal tunnel syndrome.
8 Ways You Can Improve Your Posture and Reduce Pain While at the Computer
Besides boosting your mood and giving you more energy, improving your posture can also reduce pain. Yes, you’ll alleviate stiffness from long periods of working at the computer but also, better posture can help with chronic pain too. Here are 8 ways to feel your best.
1- Get a Good Chair – There are dozens of high-quality chairs on the market. Some of them are even known as “gamer’s chairs.” I probably don’t have to say any more about those! Such a chair has lots of padding but also supports your lower back to help it stay in proper alignment.
2- Check your Computer Screen – When your computer screen is at eye level, your neck can stay aligned with your spine which means it won’t be jutting out and putting additional pressure on your neck. You can find out more about setting up an ergonomic desk here.
3-Standing Desks – You can buy those battery powered ones or construct your own. Even shoe racks or plastic boxes can offer enough height to boost your screen to the right height. But make sure you stand with good posture. Well-cushioned shoes help protect your back and joints; especially if you’re on a hard surface.
4- Exercises – If you’ve ever pressed your back against a wall and squatted down in “chair pose,” then you know what it feels like to press your shoulders back. You can do this several times a day to counteract the effects of the forward slump. Your chiropractor can give you additional exercises that can help your specific condition.
5- Don’t Give Yourself Text Neck – Bending over your phone is apt to cause something we chiropractors call “text neck.” Like your computer screen, you’ll put less pressure on your neck if you keep your phone screen at eye level. It might feel funny to hold your screen up in the air, but your neck will feel better.
6- Chiropractic Adjustments – Regular chiropractic treatments help your body stay healthy and they can reduce chronic pain. You may be familiar with chiropractic adjustments as a quick, calculated thrust to a specific area of your body with the goal to realign the joints and tendons. I evaluate every patient, review their medical history and x-ray, and base the treatment accordingly.
7 – Massage Therapy – A good massage relaxes your muscles. Relaxing your muscles reduces pain caused by poor posture. Cramped and tight muscles hold tension. Massage will loosen them so you can stand taller.
8- Practice – Most of us don’t think about our posture much. But if you start noticing it, you might be surprised at how often you find yourself slouching – even a little. But noticing it and correcting it is half the battle when it comes to improving your posture.
In summary, bad posture contributes to feeling tired, sluggish, and even depressed. It can also cause pain in your neck, back, and wrists. Making adjustments such as improving your computer set up and recognizing when you’re slouched over can help you maintain better posture. Regular chiropractic treatments can help you maintain and improve your posture by helping your body shift and remain aligned.
If you’re in Doylestown, Pa., come see us!