If the yogis say that a person’s age is determined by the flexibility of his/her spine, then I’m in trouble!
I’ve been slouching and sitting too much for all my life. My bad sitting habits have transformed my straight posture to a back with kyphosis, and lordosis. My back flexibility is embarrassing. It seems that all those years at school, and then 7 years studying engineering took their toll.
Ok maybe my situation is not that bad. I don’t have low back pain (like 80% of Americans will get at least once in their lives). Even though my bad posture might cost me an inch or two in height, at least my non-straight back is not visible to the untrained eye.
I didn’t even know I didn’t have a straight posture until I attended a posture seminar for fitness professionals two years ago. Imagine our surprise when 95% of us realized we had at least one posture issue!
So if 95% of fitness pros got posture problems, then what would that percentage be for the rest of the population?
Exactly. And that’s why I’m creating this Posture Series. To educate you about what straight posture really is, and give you options on how to correct it.
Before I go further let me say that I’m addressing posture issues coming from muscle balances – or else, sitting/slouching too much. There are a number of medical conditions that can cause back problems (think spine tumors, osteoporosis, arthritis just to name a few). I won’t be talking about these cases. My talk here will be limited for the people who have posture issues from bad sitting habits.
And that’s most of us.
And if you’re like me two years ago, you might think your back is straight, even if it’s not really.
So let’s start this Straight Posture Series with a roundup of everything I’ve produced so far about the subject.
The Straight Posture Roundup
Our back is not straight anymore, and I’m no exception. In the “Is your back straight?” I showed you how to check whether you have kyphosis. As you see in the video, even though my back looks straight, it’s not really. I have kyphosis too!
If you suspect you have kyphosis too, then make sure you check out the best posture exercise and the back release technique mentioned below.
Just like I didn’t know I had kyphosis, I also didn’t know I had a stiff back! If you discovered you have kyphosis, then you must do this technique daily! The good news is that it feels so good to do it. And if the yogis are right and our age is indeed determined by our back flexibility, then it’s a must!
If you know you slouch too much, then to prevent further imbalances, or to correct your current non-straight posture problem, you have to make your back take the opposite shape than the one it takes when you’re slouching. This is absolutely the best exercise for that purpose, but do watch the video before you do it. Most people (including myself two years ago), do it wrong, so pay careful attention to the instructions.
Once you slouch for 30 min or longer, then your back gets comfy in this slouchy position. So even though you might get up and do other things, your back will keep being slouchy. Do 1-2 of these exercises to help your back resume it’s straight position.
And last but not least, the quickest tip of all:
Every time you sit down with a bad posture, your back gets used to becoming less straight and more slouchy. Your shoulders roll to the front. Here’s a simple check you can do when you get up to correct the roundness that was just caused.
But There’s More!
The Office Exercise and Stretch Mobile App
After working a desk job full time, I quickly realized how bad all that stiffness made me feel. That’s why the first app I ever created was the “Office Exercise and Stretch”! This app will help you break the sitting pattern, stop slouching so bad, and straighten up! Get it on Android and Windows 8.
I haven’t tried this gadget yet, but it’s tempting me. Imagine getting notified every time you slouch, and having to go back to keeping your brace straight? You wouldn’t have to apply continuous effort to make yourself keep your posture straight, the gadget would do this for you. Interesting, huh?
So now tell me: Do you feel that sitting too much is hurting your posture? If yes, then how? What will you do to relieve/improve the situation?