How much time do you spend sitting or even using your computer or mobile phone?
More and more, we’re seeing an increase in sitting and technology use (Hello social media!) and an increase in posture-related pain.
Want less visits to your Osteopath and massage therapist?
Then adopt these standing posture tips and stand tall, proud and pain-free!
1. When standing, think of each foot as a tripod.
Yep, that’s right, 3 little invisible prongs to help ensure you have your weight spread evenly over each foot. On each foot spread your weight evenly between your big toe, little toe and centre of your heel.Rock a few times back and forth until you find the centre of your feet.Notice how steady and stable you feel.
2. Unlock your knees.
Most of us do this and it may feel comfortable but locking your knees puts pressure on your lower back and switches off your glutes. Aim to let your knees bend just a little to ensure your core is helping you stand tall.
3. Keep the length behind the back of your neck.
Check where your eye-line is.Are you looking below your eye level? Is your head dropped? (Cue phone holding and scrolling here!) If yes, raise your computer screen, lift your phone and arm or better yet put your phone away and look out over the horizon to ensure a long neck. Your posture will love you for it.
4. Breathe deeply and fully.
That means using ALL your lungs and inhaling 360 degrees to the front, back and sides of your lungs. Breathing deeply ensures your diaphragm is moving fully, lungs expand evenly and your back muscles stay relaxed and pain free. It also ensures you aren’t putting any pressure on your internal organs (think knots in tummy or bloating) and your deep core muscles can activate gently to help provide stability.
5. Engage your CORE.
Your lower abdominal muscles should be gently humming away in the background whilst you’re standing, to help keep pressure off your lower back. Not sure how to engage them? Gently draw your lower abdomen in towards your spine and feel the support it provides. Not sure if you’re engaging correctly? Check with your local Pilates practitioner or health-professional to ensure good form.
Kate Boyle is the owner and director of Mind and Movement Pilates in Melbourne, Australia. Learn more about her here and connect with her on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.