Good posture is about keeping your body in alignment. To stand with good posture means standing tall, shoulders back, chest up, stomach in and looking at the horizon.
To assume a good posture your ears, shoulders and hips should be in a straight line.
As you can see in the picture above, if your hips, shoulders or ears are out of alignment it leads to poor posture and strain on the back and neck.
Commonly, people have rounded shoulders and a forward head position. This brings the ears and shoulders forward away from their neutral position over the hips putting strain on the base of the neck and low back. A good example of this is the thoracic kyphosis model above.
If you struggle with poor posture take time each day to do some stretching as described below. If you experience pain during or after the exercises it is best to cease the activity and to seek professional advice.
1. Lie down over a rolled up towel or foam roller so it runs down the length of your spine.
2. Stretch your arms out from your side at 90 degrees and hold for 2 to 4 minutes.
3. Stretch your arms over your head and hold for 2 to 4 minutes.
4. Reposition the roller so that it lies at 90 degrees to your spine. Lie over the roller again so it causes your mid back to arch. Hold for 2 to 4 minutes.
Written by Patrick Norman B.Ost