Having good posture not only makes you look taller, but it helps you appear thinner, more confident and self-assured too. If too many hours at the computer have created rounded shoulders and an almost permanent slump, do not fear. Practice these steps and you will be able to improve your posture.
- Stand against the wall. For the first ten minutes of every day, prepare for good posture. Stand with you back against the wall. Align your body into a straight, tall line.
- Consider regular yoga or Pilates. Yoga and Pilates practitioners often have excellent posture because they regularly focus on their posture. They practice lengthening the spine and stretching. Adding yoga or Pilates to your workout even twice a week will improve your posture.
- Spend the money for a supportive chair. If you are the type who spends eight to ten hours a day at your desk typing or staring at your computer screen, think about your chair. You spend as much time in your desk chair as you do in bed. Your chair should be comfortable, ergonomically fit to your body size and it should support your lower back. Follow the instructions for the chair and sit with proper posture while working.
- Get up and move. One difficulty with improving your posture is that muscles don’t like to be stuck in the same position for long periods of time. Every hour you should get up and move away from your desk for a few moments. Walk to the printer or the restroom.
- Stretch and strengthen your shoulders. Your shoulder and upper back muscles are fundamental to posture. Don’t neglect this area as part of your regular workout or strength training exercise. Work for strong shoulders not just toned arms. During your hourly move away from your desk, roll your shoulders to stretch them and get the blood flowing to those muscles.
- Practice aligning your spine to stand straighter. Stand up with your feet shoulder width apart. Tuck your pelvis under so that your lower back is straight and is not under pressure. Your knees and hips should be soft. Concentrate on your vertebrae. Imagine each vertebra moving together to form a straight line from the base of your spine up your body to the base of your skull. Move and relax your back as you slowly straighten your back. Once you are aligned, hold the position for as long as you can. You may only be able to hold it for thirty seconds at first, but slowly add more time each day until you can hold the position for at least five minutes.
- Stretch. Once you have practiced aligning your spine, lay flat on the floor and stretch the muscles that you were holding tense.
- Continue to practice. The more you practice, the more you will be able to improve your posture. After a few weeks of daily practice, you should notice your body sitting straighter at work and standing taller even when you aren’t concentrating to maintain good posture.
Improving your posture helps you strengthen the muscles around your spine. It also helps you appear more confident and assured when you stride with your back straight and your head held high. Practice these steps and you will be on your way to improving your posture.