Try this Sanford Health-recommended test: Cross your right leg over your left. Now left over right. Is one position more comfortable? Do you feel pain or tightness in one leg but not the other? Your problem is posture. The solution is called neutrality.
According to Sanford, being neutral means that “your pelvis, trunk and head are in their optimal position to work effectively and efficiently.” To address neutrality, physical therapists start at the skeletal anchor, the spine. A healthy spine is S-shaped, but modern patterns of behavior slowly slouch the spine into a C-shape.
“The human body was built to move more than sit in a chair, car and couch for a large chunk of the day,” says Seattle yogi Michael Huffman. Prolonged, these actions can cause painful pinching of vertebral disks, diminishing physical performance and eventually leading to more serious complications. To reverse these effects and achieve neutrality, one must correct posture.
Posture is defined by Livestrong.com as “the alignment and positioning of the body with respect to gravity.” Typically, this is thought of in terms of static posture, holding proper form while sitting or standing — however, developing good posture actually requires dynamic action. Strengthening your core and stabilizing your spine through simple daily exercises and adjusting habits can save you a lifetime of pain.
Acclaimed writer and yoga instructor Sandy Blaine published the book Yoga for Computer Users in 2008 as an effort to assist the millions of workers hunched over computers for eight or more hours a day. In an article with Entrepreneur.com, Blaine offered some insights from the book.
Correcting your Squats
There is arguably no greater holistic strength-building workout than the squat. Strengthening your midsection, supporting your spine and increasing your flexibility, the move is simply a powerhouse. However, doing squats incorrectly can be infinitely worse than not doing them at all. Stronglifts.com offers some terrific tips on performing picturesque squats.
It’s fair to assume that how you spend nearly one-third of your life goes a long way. While the act of sleeping seems inherently passive, maintaining a proper position for snoozing takes work and consistency. Read up on how different sleeping positions can have a massive effect on posture.
For a spinal tuneup, chiropractic is second to none. This ancient science is centered on spinal adjustments, done to alleviate pinched nerves, a common symptom of those with poor posture. From there, chiropractic is said to provide relief for a wide scope of physical ailments, including poor posture.
There is no immaculate regimen for neutrality and correct posture. But active, consistent application of these principles and activities can begin to reprogram what is becoming a societally chronic problem.