How to perfecting your posture to prevent back pain

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How-to-perfecting-Your-Posture-to-prevents-Back-PainThirteen hours. That’s how long we spend sitting every day – equal to 78 days per year! And we’re not even sitting well. We’re often slouched over desks or on our sofas or hunched up on a train or bus. But it’s easy to retrain ourselves.

Slouching can have a negative impact on your body. Here’s how to straighten up

‘SIT UP, DON’T SLOUCH’
A common phrase growing up, but your mother or teacher was on to something. Whether we’re sitting, standing or even lying down, good posture makes sure that the force of gravity is distributed evenly through our body, so no part is over-stressed. It also encourages a good balance between muscle strength and flexibility and easy movement. Plus, it prevents back pain, which causes three million people a year to take time off.

Other posture perks…

  1. Boosts your breathing
  2. Improves circulation and digestion
  3. Stops wear and tear of joints and ligaments
  4. Protects your spine
  5. Makes you look slimmer, younger and confident

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STRETCH IT OUT

Harriet Griffey, author of Sit Strong: Everyday Exercises to Stretch and Strengthen Your Posture (below), believes it’s never too late to make a difference. These five exercises from her latest book show you how to counter the
risks caused by excessive sitting.

REVERSE SHOULDER STRETCH

Reverse Shoulder Stretch
✱ Stand tall, clasping your hands loosely behind your back.
✱ Keeping arms straight, slowly lift your clasped hands, so you feel a stretch at the front of shoulders and through biceps.
✱ Hold for a count of 5.
✱ Relax and repeat the exercise.

CHIN TUCK

Chin-Tuck
✱ Sit upright, knees hip-width apart, feet flat on floor.
✱ Rest hands on lap, relax shoulders.
✱ Look ahead, with chin tucked in.
✱ Pull your chin in, keeping your gaze level, as if you were trying to press the back of your head against a wall.
✱ Hold for a count of 5.
✱ Relax
✱ Repeat 5 times.

PIRIFORMIS STRETCH

Piriformis-Stretch
✱ Sitting, keep one foot flat on floor, bend other knee and place ankle across other thigh of opposite leg.
✱ Holding bent knee with both hands, and keeping shoulders relaxed and back straight, gently pull up from hips to increase stretch from buttock through thigh.
✱ Hold for a count of 5.
✱ Repeat with other leg.

STANDING QUAD STRETCH

Standing-Quad-Stretch
✱ Stand with feet pointing forward, hip-width apart.
✱ Engaging core muscles, bend right knee and lift your foot behind you, balancing on left leg.
✱ Reacing behind, grab ankle with right hand.
✱ Hold for a count of 5.
✱ Repeat on other side.

FOREARM STRETCH

Forearm-Stretch
✱ Stand with arm at shoulder height, palm against the wall.
✱ Press against the wall, turning your body away from the wall for a stretch through the chest, shoulder, upper arm and forearm.
✱ Hold for a count of 10, relax, repeat 3 times.
✱ Swap arms, repeat.

Wanless, associate professor at Birmingham City University.

  • Take the weight off. The average weight of a woman’s handbag is 2.4 kg – as heavy as a small dog!
    ‘Carrying a heavy bag on your shoulder, plus the shift in posture you make, can lead to back pain,’ says
    Dr Surinder Sandhu. ‘Wear it across the body.’
  • Sort your sleeping position. ‘Lying on your front exaggerates the arch at the base of your spine and can place strain on the lower back,’ explains sleep expert Sammy Margo* (sammy margophysiotherapy.com). ‘Maintain the spine’s natural curves by side-sleeping, or sleeping on your back with a pillow placed under your knees.’

Sit Strong by Harriet Griffey (£10, Hardie Grant Books) is available to buy now.

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