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How to Improve Poor Posture

If you do not have a good posture, then read on to know about its effects and methods of correcting the poor posture.
WellnessKeen Staff
Last Updated: Oct 04, 2018
The long hours in the office can take a toll on your health, especially the physical appearance of your body can be greatly affected by the posture you hold. There are many reasons why people develop poor postures. One of the most common reasons is an incorrect way of sitting, standing, sleeping, or walking.
The other rare reason is, vertebral abnormalities that cause severe posture problems and call for more drastic measures and medical attention. But, mild posture problems that majority of us suffer from can be rectified and prevented by following some exercises and by inculcating some healthy habits.
Before you know how to improve poor posture, it is a must to know the effects and symptoms of the same. To know about them, read further ...
Poor Posture Signs
Signs of poor body posture can be classified into three main categories, namely, Visible Signs, Painful Symptoms, and Related Symptoms. Some of the visible signs that result from slouching include tilting the head forward, arching the upper and/or lower back that looks like a hunch back.
In people who have an extra upright posture, the symptoms include, shoulder blades pulled back, arched lower back, locked knees, and holding head behind that is not in sync with gravity. Apart from this, there are many other visible symptoms, such as wearing of one shoe or clothes at a specific area, etc.
man having Backache
Painful symptoms can include, upper back or lower back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, etc. It also includes, arm, leg, ankle, joint, and hips pain, etc.
woman having Difficulty in breathin
The related symptoms refer to poor posture caused due to physical abnormalities that need chiropractic attention. Some other general symptoms can include, headache, fatigue, or even breathing problems.
Effects of Poor Posture
Some of the effects of poor posture are irreversible, and so it is always better to maintain a good body posture. Given here are some of the ill effects of holding poor body posture for long. You must know these before we tell you how to improve posture.
Change in Bone Structure:
Highlighted spine pain of man
A gradual poor posture can damage the shape of your bone. Due to continuous pressure on the wrong bone, it may alter its shape and may lose the effectiveness and strength.
Strain on Muscles and Veins:
A poor posture can also take a toll on the muscles and veins inside the body. The muscles may get strained or become stiff due to excessive pressure that is caused by the wrong posture. Sometimes, the affected bones too cause damage to surrounding muscles and veins pressing and weakening them.
High Blood Pressure:
High blood pressure
Studies say that a poor posture can lead to high blood pressure. A slight neck muscle injury caused by poor posture can also affect the blood pressure and heart rate of a person.
Woman having Headache
Yes, a poor body posture can cause tension headaches. When your body is overstressed due to poor posture, a certain tension develops in the body that moves to your head causing tension headaches that are very discomforting.
Other Ill Effects:
Some of the other ill effects also include herniated discs, spinal cord problems, and bone spurs, etc., that are very painful and need immediate medical attention. Apart from this, a steady poor posture can cause permanent fixture in your physical appearance that may result in poor self image in future.
Exercises to Correct Poor Posture
woman doing yoga
Yoga is one of the best ways that can help you in correcting posture. Yoga exercises make muscles more flexible and help bones hold their natural shape and form.
Yoga also helps in relieving back pain, neck pain, and overall body pain by relaxing muscles and eliminating muscle pain. It can act as a preventive as well curative measure and is one of the complete poor posture exercises.
Sitting While Standing:
It is one of the best exercises to improve your posture. It is somewhat similar to squatting where your head and back should be touching the wall and knees and ankles are pitched forward as if you are assuming a sitting position. Now, move the body upwards and downwards without locking the knees. This exercise improves the back and torso posture.
Arm Lifts:
Arm Lifts exercise
There are many hand lifts that you can perform to get the correct posture.
Lifting arms just above the shoulder line while palms face the floor and again bringing them down just below the shoulder line is a good exercise for shoulder and hands. You can do twenty five reps everyday. Similarly, lift your hands while palms facing the back and push your hands backwards and bring them back.
Leg Lifts:
lift leg exercise
Leg lifts will improve your walking and standing posture. Sleep on the floor facing the ceiling. Lift alternate legs up to 3 to 4 inches above the floor and hold each leg up for 5 seconds. Similarly, lie on your stomach and perform the same lift backwards.
Neck and Ankle Tilts:
Neck Tilts exercise
This exercise would help you to posture your neck properly. Tilt your head upwards, backwards, and sidewards slowly. Make sure that you do not rotate your head, as it can cause further damage to the neck muscles.
Similarly, lift your leg, bend your foot, including toes, upwards and downwards. It would relax the leg muscles, resulting in good leg posture.
woman stretching her leg
Stretching is also one of the most effective exercises to improve posture. You can perform many stretching exercises including, hands, legs, shoulder, back, and overall body stretches.
Stretches can relax the muscles and make them more flexible that reduce the impact of poor posture. You can also take the help of ergonomics and posture corrective braces that provide you with proper body support and improve the posture.
Tips on Poor Posture Correction
Casual woman
  • Keep feet slightly apart, say shoulder width, while standing.
  • Tuck in the chin slightly for holding the head upright.
Man standing straight
  • Stand straight without hunching the back or locking knees.
  • Always make sure that you stand with more weight on the balls on the feet and not on the heels.
walking straight
  • Avoid locking your knees while walking, running, and standing.
  • Wear clothes and shoes that provide comfort and support and can aid better posture correction.
sitting straight
  • Avoid slouching and leaning while sitting.
  • Keep shoulders aligned with the body.
young businesswoman driving car
  • Make sure to get a proper back support while driving a car.
Now, you know how to improve poor posture. The first step towards improving it is recognizing it and trying to alter it with the right one immediately. Maintaining a good posture is a habit that you have to get accustomed to slowly. Being conscious of your posture can save you from damages that can be caused by a poor posture.