• img1At some point in our lives, many of us had a mother or aunt or family friends advising us to “stand up straight.”

    But good posture is more than standing up straight, and requires more than “keeping your shoulders back.” To improve posture you have to strengthen how your body balances, and how it moves.

    Though there is no one perfect posture, there are better and worse postures. It’s not just how you stand, it’s also how you align and balance your body when you sit.

    It’s clear that sitting is the 21st century posture. Our technology-driven work and recreational habits are a primary cause of neck, shoulder and back pain.

    The human body is designed to walk and run, not sit in a folded, cramped position for hours. Problems begin when we work the deep core muscles balancing our body in only a small part of their full range of motion. Unused muscles adapt and atrophy, and overtime our posture weakens.

    If you spend a big chunk of your life sitting, you must actively do something to counteract your habits, or your posture will suffer.

    Here are some tips for improving your posture:

    At work – Sit strong, but not too long. Sitting folds your body restricting breathing and circulation, impacting health nearly as much as smoking.

    When you must sit, choose a chair that encourages erect posture. Try a seat support or wedge that supports from beneath by gently tilting the hips forward. Set a reminder on your phone or computer to take frequent movement breaks.

    At home – Sleep soundly. Invest in a supportive mattress that keeps your body aligned, and sleep on your side or back.

    Side sleeper: a pillow between your knees adds pelvic support.

    Back sleeper: a contoured pillow can help you breathe easy.

    Finally, stand taller everywhere you go by choosing footwear for support and comfort. Your feet are the foundation for your posture.

    Check the soles of your shoes for uneven wear as this can indicate posture imbalance.

    If you have questions about how your posture may be affecting your health, call our office at 425-778-9600 for a consultation.

    — Dr. Waldron

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