Thursday, March 4, 2010

Want stand tall? Then sit straight!

Fixing one's posture requires discipline and persistence. Mind Your Body lists some tips to help you along:

1: Reverse your routine
If you slouch all the time, try sitting or standing up straight as long as you can and then slouch for short intervals to relax.

The more you practice, the easier it will be to maintain proper posture for longer periods, said physiotherapist Farzad Hafezi of Documentation Based Care Singapore.

2: Work smart:

Occupational therapist Chen Hui Wen from Changi General Hospital shares this advice:

Adjust the height of the chair you use in the office so your table is at elbow level. This will help you avoid hunching at work.

Keep your chair close to your desk to avoid having to lean over.

Make sure your feet stay flat on the ground while you are seated. Use a foot rest for support if necessary.

Place a cushion in the small of your back if your chair does not have back support.

Take frequent short breaks. No matter how ergonomically correct your work station is, the human body is not meant to stay in one position for too long.

3: Set yourself visual reminders:

Use small coloured stickers as visual reminders to sit or stand up straight.

You can stick these on places like the corner of your laptop screen, on your watch or your mirrors at home, said Mr Farzad.

4: Stretch

Rounded, or forward slouching, shoulders can result when one's tight chest muscles pull the weaker upper back muscles forward, said Mr Farzad.

Stretch these muscles by pulling your shoulder blades back and holding them there for a few seconds. Repeat sets of this process throughout the day. More simple posture exercises can also be found at:

5: Tape your back

Get into a proper posture position and stick an 'X' across your upper back using medical tape.

This way, when you start to slouch or when your shoulders drop, the tug felt can serve as a reminder to straighten your back again, said Mr Farzad.

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