You might not have that ripped six-pack just yet, but when it comes to a good posture, there are several quick wins that can make you feel more confident about yourself, improve your appearance, and rid yourself of aches and pains without the need of intense exercise. Whether you’re sat at your desk in the office, walking to work or even waiting for your dinner to cook in the oven, think about improving your posture with our easy bootcamp.
STEP ONE: Assess how bad your posture is!
There are many ways of getting posture wrong and assessing your posture can be a good way of spotting the mistakes and starting to work on correcting them. If you already know you have issues then an appointment with a physio, osteopath or chiropractor should be a given. Hassle your GP and get them to refer you if needs be.
STEP TWO: Address your sitting addiction
Digestion issues, breathing problems and muscle damage are all possible long-term side-effects of bad posture. If you think about how long you are sat down for on an average day, the way you sit has a huge impact on your long-term health. Global studies show we sit down on average 7.7 hours a day, that’s 53.9 hours each week!
First up, take the Sitting Calculator test at the brilliant Get Britain Standing and be prepared to be a teensy bit scared by the results…If you decide you need to do something about your sitting addiction then here are two good alternatives:
1) Try switching your desk chair with a yoga or Swiss ball for even two hours a day, can do wonders for your health:
- It forces proper spine alignment
- Improves circulation of blood around your body
- If you flex your stomach muscles whilst sat on the ball and hold them for about 5 to 10 seconds breathing in as you contract, you work the same muscles as you would with crunches and sit-ups.
- Stronger stomach muscles leads to a better core, meaning you’re more likely to sit up straight.
- It’s fun!
2) See if your workplace can accommodate a standing desk, or a desk that allows you to change levels. You might feel a bit weird starting off but just think of the 120 extra calories you burn per day when standing.
STEP THREE: Practice the alphabet
Practicing the y, t, w and l shapes on your floor as demonstrated in the video below each evening before bed, can help rid you of bad postural habits. You can do these quick, simple exercises at home without the need of equipment, so no excuses.
STEP FOUR: Duct tape your back!
Stand up straight with your shoulders back and ask someone to stick the tape from the top of your right shoulder to the left hip, do the same from the left shoulder. When you’re finished you should look like a really rubbish member of the X-Men. However, daft it may sound even if you wear it for an hour it will remind you whenever you slouch and help you maintain a healthy posture.
NB: don’t do what we did and slap the duct tape on without thinking about how to get it off a hairy back.
STEP FIVE: Wear clothes that fit you!
Your natural response to wearing baggy, comfy clothes is to relax and slouch. If you wear tighter-fitting clothes, you are far more likely to notice your posture. I totally understand that the baggy clothes are meant as a way of hiding how you feel about your body, but you’ll find that the looser clothes simply make you look even bigger than you are – the muumuu is fooling no one.