Q: I know I have poor posture after years of not watching how I stood when working retail. Do you have any tips for me that I can do to fix this long term problem? Jordan S., Cape Coral, FL
A: Yes Jordan, it is not easy to change our postures after many moons of letting it build on itself. The best thing you can do is to try to retrain how you sit and stand now. Here are some tips that may help you!
When in a seated position, either in a car or office chair, your knees should be at an even height with your hip. If the knees are positioned above or below the hip joint which level, it can cause stress on the hips and pelvis.
When seated, shoulders should be back, touching the back of the seat. Your ear and head should be positioned over top of the shoulders centrally. When you're seated, if your shoulders are not touching the back of your chair then you know you have got your head in the wrong position. Spot check yourself frequently. Forward head posture should be avoided because it pulls the cervical curve out of your neck overtime leading to migraines and upper back strain.
When standing, hips should be in line with the feet, your shoulders should be back, and your belly button should be sucked in like you are trying to touch your spine. Your head should be over top of your shoulders and in line with the rest of your body.
A way to spot check and train yourself on correct posture when you're standing is to step back against a wall with your head and glutes touching the wall, then take a step forward.
Another way to train yourself into better posture is to clinch your butt cheeks and take a deep breath every time you go through a doorway. It brings the shoulders back over top of the hips and it straightens and tightens the pelvis to hold everything nice and tight. Remember, clench and inhale!
It is never too late to fix problem areas no matter how hard we were on our bodies getting to this point in life. You just have to re-train your body to do things the right way and then habit becomes lifestyle!
Dr. Misty Green is a local Chiropractor serving the Cape Coral/North Fort Myers, Florida area for over 20 years. She can be reached at (239) 772-5777 to schedule an appointment. Check out our website at AskDrMisty.com for short and sweet video health tips.
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