“Sit up straight!" “Don’t slouch!” These are the phrases that teachers and parents uttered to us repeatedly while growing up. We routinely obliged to their demands and quickly sat up. Luckily during our younger years, we spent a lot more time being active. But now that we are older, we spend exceedingly more time sitting, and no longer have anyone whispering in our ear to correct our posture. And the worse part is, our bodies are now paying the consequences.
Have you struggled with back pain, shoulder pain, stress, or much more? Poor posture continues to be a leading cause of musculoskeletal problems affecting our overall health and wellbeing. All it takes is 20 minutes of sitting before bad posture begins to deform our ligaments and cause our muscles to fatigue.
Our posture controls all our bodies' movements from sitting, standing, to laying down. As our posture begins to worsen, pain can increase affecting our everyday life. According to the American Chiropractor Association (ACA), back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide. With roughly ½ of Americans reporting some form of back pain. The ACA claims that back pain is a major reason for missed work, causing approximately 264 million lost workdays. That is roughly 2 missed work days per employee.
There are two simple ways you can start improving posture. First, you can start doing push-ups. Doing them regularly, helps with posture, balance, and can prevent lower back pain. Secondly, you should start taking breaks. Breaks allow employees to change their posture. By adding variation and switching up your tasks, it allows you more opportunities to move. Make these simple changes to your daily life, and notice the improvements in your posture and health.
When should you take a break? Studies suggest the best time is before your body becomes fatigued. When you are the most energized and feeling your best is the time to get up and move around. Try to avoid taking breaks at your desk. Leaning back and playing on your phone is not considered a break. Remember your mind and body deserve a break.