Written by: Nicole Skakun MSC- PT, Physiotherapist
The Effects of Poor Posture
Many of us are subject to poor posture from things we do every day – for example, desk/office work, sitting on the couch watching television, texting, etc! The postures we are in during these activities tend to cause muscle imbalances around our spine and upper body, which can eventually lead to a stiff back or sore upper shoulders. The most common “poor posture” includes a rounded upper back, forward head poke, and rolled in shoulders.
When our posture is corrected and more upright, it reduces the stress and strain on the surrounding muscles and joints. There are many things we can do to help correct our posture. Most exercises focus on stretching the tight muscles on the chest, and strengthening the muscles in the back to help restore a more upright, balanced posture.
The first exercise is a stretch for your pectoral muscles. Lean forward until you feel a gentle stretch in the front of your chest. Hold for 60 seconds. Repeat this 2-3 times daily
The second exercise is a strengthening exercise for your back muscles. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and down. Hold for 5 seconds and relax. Repeat this 10 times. Do this 2-3 times every second day.
Another simple way to help correct posture is to add a lumbar support cushion to your lower back. When your lower spine is properly aligned, the rest of the spine tends to correct itself as well. Lastly, don’t forget to be active! Most of the activities that cause poor posture are sedentary activities – keeping active and being mindful of your posture will help decrease your chance of associated muscle and joint pain.