(12/10/13) - There is a lot more to good posture than sitting up straight. In fact, the more you know, the less pain you may suffer in the long run. Bad posture can really take a toll on your spine, shoulders, hips and even your knees. But there are some really simple things you can do to straighten up, before it's too late.
Dr. Steven Weiniger says good posture means your, head, torso, and pelvis are all stacked over your feet while you stand, "we label those areas posture zones, and we try to pull posture zones towards center."
Today-he took a posture picture of Dee Hobbs, which showed her zones aren't as well-aligned as she thought, "(her) pelvis is quite a bit to the left of centerline."
"I am definitely surprised," Dee says.
With a little work, however, Dee can improve her posture and so can you, Weiniger says, "making people aware of their body is the, the first thing you need to do to start functionally strengthening their posture."
Then, Weiniger recommends BAM321: balance three times a day, alignment two times a day, and motion once a day.
To improve balance, lift your leg so your thigh is parallel to the ground while touching a wall. Hold it for five breaths.
For alignment, move side to side while sitting on a balance ball.
For motion-try moving forward and backward on the ball.
"You also feel the difference in your neck as well, too, as you're doing it," Weiniger says.
To improve posture while you sit at your desk, place your monitor and keyboard right in front of you so your torso doesn't twist. Also, make sure your hips are higher than your knees while you sit. Choose a chair you can adjust slightly forward or put a pillow on your seat.
And remember - no slouching!
Weiniger says kids are more at risk for poor posture today because of tablets, phones, and video games. They often sit in a tense position with their shoulders and lower backs rounding forward while using these devices. He says the best way to help kids improve their posture is to take a picture, so they can see just how hunched they are.
He also recommends having kids sit on an exercise ball while they watch TV.
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