Have your parents ever told you to stand up straight? Maybe they have even poked your back when you were least expecting it to remind you not to slouch?
My parents did it all the time. Especially my mom.
It used to annoy me tremendously, to the point where when I caught myself slouching I did nothing to correct my posture.
Today no one tells me to keep my back straight. Instead the occasional neck and shoulder pain reminds me about it.
In reality, the benefits of having perfect posture go far beyond simple back pain prevention. In many cases proper posture reduces tension headaches, fatigue and eye strain, improves blood circulation and digestion, enhances sleep and makes us appear younger and more confident.
Unfortunately, overcoming bad posture habits is not that easy, especially for those of us who work in front of a computer all day.
I do not know about you, but I do a lot of sitting these days. I sit at my desk for 6-7 hours. I sit as I drive home. I sit at the dinner table with my family. I sit during the long intercontinental flights between the US and Italy. I sit while I wait for my appointments.
All this sitting puts a lot of strain on my back.
I have to go to great lengths to correct my posture and stop myself from slumping and tensing my shoulders.
Here is a complete list of 10 Easy Tips for Perfect Posture that I find very helpful:
1. Learn what perfect posture feels like
For those of us, who have been slouching for years, sitting or standing with a straight back may feel weird and even uncomfortable. This is the power of habit. If you want to break it, you need to know what proper posture feels like.
Try this: raise your head, free up your diaphragm by straightening your back area, and roll your shoulders back, sort of relaxing them into the correct position. You can double check yourself by making sure that your ears, shoulders and hips make one straight line. As you straighten your spine, you will notice that it becomes much easier to breathe.
2. Try the Balloon Method
What I call “The Balloon Method” is a little visualization exercise that I learned years ago when I was doing artistic gymnastics. This visualization alone has done miracles to improve my posture.