Working out on the ST machines at the gym has made a huge difference in my posture.
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10 3/10/13 11:13 A
I didn't read all the entries in this forum (there were a lot!) but being only 5'2", overweight, and in constant pain at my age, the normal tendency is to stoop because standing or sitting straight simply hurts, especially over a period of several minutes. My background is nursing so my training knows to prevent posture mishaps in a few short tips: never lean over your cane/walker while standing, always adjust cane/walker to proper height to avoid stooping~high enough that your arm is relaxed with elbow slightly bend and back can remain straight, try not to shift weight from one foot to the other as this will cause back to be out of proper alignment, and remind yourself every time you feel yourself stooping. Also, keep up your calcium intake to keep your bones straight, after checking with your doctor, of course.
ihave had a problem with posture lately. before my hip replacement surgery, my right leg had gotten shorter than my left one, so i listed to the right. it was noticable. i had trouble with balance and walking and my lower back hurt when i stood for any length of time. i had to use a cane to keep from falling over. since the surgery, i am even and i have been workig on regaining my strength, balance and posture. my back doesn't hurt as much and i have more energy.
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725 3/9/13 7:10 P
I have a tendency to round my shoulders at work. After a while I get a little achy. Lately I have been making an effort not to do that.
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167 3/9/13 5:51 P
Posture is something I have really been conscious of lately. I am constantly self-correcting when I am sitting at work. When I'm at home; however, I find myself slouching in my recliner because that position feels the best on my lower back. Something that almost constantly hurts. I probably need to see a chiro but I was hoping to take off some more weight first. I know that has alot to do with it. The trouble I have with working my core is that I am not allowed to do ANY ab work, by order of my physician, because I have a large ventral hernia (that runs vertically up and down my abdomen). Any ab work just makes that worse. There is really nothing they can do about it. One of those things I just have to live with. I just got a stability ball a couple of days ago hoping that that would help, but then I read in some previous comments that you can even slouch on a stability ball. Great! I'm just going to keep looking for answers. Maybe that will be my next question to SparkCoach.
With my back trouble, I have found doing backwards shoulder rolls helps put your head back in the position it should be in. That really helps and doing strechs my chiropractor showed me. He told me when working at a job where your neck naturally goes forward, the stretches and shoulder rolls help. I always try to have a good posture most of the time. Bad posture makes me my neck and shoulders and low back hurt worse. I heard bad posture could be a sign of being osteoporisis as well. That is why I work so hard on my posture.
Edited by: LORNE67 at: 3/9/2013 (16:40)
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3,957 3/9/13 4:12 P
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2,241 3/9/13 12:32 P
It's VERY hard..almost impossible...to change your posture when you're an adult. Good for the body, but easier said than done! Good luck!
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1,249 3/9/13 12:17 P
So glad to see everyone's suggestions a nd reminders! I know I need them. Working at my desk seems to be making my posture worse and worse. I wish I could get one of those treadmill desks!
Until then it's time to work on abs and core and remember to sit up straight!
Physical Therapists preach to their patients to have good posture all day long. 95% of their patients would do better if they would simply stand up straight. I didn't know I had poor posture until I went to a PT and Chiropractor for neck and upper back pain. I didn't have the strength in my back at age 40, to carry myself up-right and straight.
The PT asked me my favorite color. "OK, then," he said, "Every time you see or think of blue, connect your posture to that word. Make a note and correct your posture with your ears over your shoulders over your hips. See if that helps."
It did. I added Pilates to strengthen my core, swimming, and weight lifting, and now I stand up more straight more often than I did in the past. And the neck and upper back pain are gone!
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349 3/9/13 9:09 A
Hey I'm a teacher as well and one thing I noticed was that my left shoulder and arm would start to get knots in my muscles because that is how I hold the book when I read aloud to the kids. I have to be very conscious about sitting straight and not slouching when I'm doing read alouds because it affects how my arm holds the book and it sounds petty but after awhile it really messes up your shoulder.
I also sit on the floor with the kids often and for some strange reason I noticed that my posture seems better when sitting criss cross (Indian style). Dunno why. Anybody else notice this?
Also make sure you don't put your hands on your hips too often. (I think lots of teachers, including me, are guilty of this!) it forces your shoulder and neck muscles to tense up and will give you headaches.
I have dealt with lower back pain for a few years now. I went to a chiropractor for a while and then ended up in urgent care because I was in so much pain. He told me it was from bad posture. I don't recommend a chiropractor. I am still working on getting my posture in better shape but I read recently that if you pretend there is a spot light in the middle of your chest and you when it shines you want it to shine forward, this is a mental picture that has helped me to keep my posture straighter.
Another small trick: straighten the angle of the seat in your car. When I'm forced to keep my spine straight naturally, it helps train me to do it the rest of the day without really being conscious of it.
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14 3/8/13 1:29 P
MUSCATDBQ, you might also want to ask him about an ultrasound or MRI of your lower back. My roommate has terrible lower back pain unless she walks with one foot turned out. An ultrasound taken for something else showed an anomaly, that led to an MRI of her back, and it turns out she has a bone in her lower back that's supposed to connect to the tailbone, but doesn't. Apparently, it's been like that for years (possibly since she was in her teens), and there's not much that can be done about it, but at least you'd know why it hurts.
Edited by: TISTYEN at: 3/8/2013 (11:28)
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4,663 3/7/13 5:13 P
When I was doing yoga regularly, my posture was so much better. Must get back to it!
Consciously tucking your tailbone down and under when sitting or standing. You can look up pelvic tilts to see how to do this.
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5,252 3/7/13 7:36 A
I was given posture exercises by my sports doc to strengthen my shoulder blades. I do wall slides and "supermans."
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200 3/6/13 11:27 P
I was very 'slumpy' working at my desk for 15+ years. But since working out with Nicole @ Sparks I noticed she points out to tighten your core, shoulders - back and down'. It's made me pay more attention to my form. AND I notice my back and shoulders getting more workout since I never used those muscles before Spark.
I have had horrible posture forever- even after having a breast reduction to deal with the source of the problem. I have been seeing a chiropractor and feel that my shoulders have found their proper position (of course I slip sometimes, but it is better for the most part). But now I still have my neck too far forward, normal for us desk-job workers. It is a constant battle, but I have exercises/stretches to do to strengthen my muscles there to try and work on it.
Shoulders back and relaxed (down), belly button pulled in and hips slightly forward. Hard to do without thinking about it but thats what you hear all the time in physio rehab. Those runners with the rocking bottoms really force you to pay attention to posture or you feel like you will fall forward. Good posture makes you look skinnier than slumping or hunching so it's good for you that way too.
I've had bad posture since I was a child (and my mom indulged my slumping). It is a bit worse now as I had a double mastectomy and reconstruction (plus I have a fat bulge on the top of my back, weird where fat will go).
I read in huffingtonpost that putting your arms out helps. I try to do it, don't know if it has helped. Think having a camera where I could observe myself at all times would help with this..ugh.
I bought a posture device from amazon, can't say it works too well other than to remind you.
Good for you in addressing this issue! I see a lot of women (especially) who slump and slouch and even a slim person looks dumpy when he or she doesn't stand up straight.
I've been fortunate to have had pretty good posture all my life but I have had back issues throughout my adult life which were exacerbated by being overweight. One thing that helped me was not to sit back in chairs, because I had a natural tendency to "collapse." Kind of perching on the front of the chair reminds me to hold myself erect. When I sit back now, I'm very conscious of how different it feels and I will eventually move forward again. I also feel like I am more productive when my seated posture is better.
i have struggled with maintaining good posture my entire life! as a child i was at the chiropractor regularly, with concerns that i might end up with scoliosis, but it turns out i just have weak ab muscles... i find that when i'm doing ab exercises regularly my posture improves dramatically. now i'm trying to instil that in my 10 year old daughter who loves to slouch all the time as well
When I am keeping up on my upper body activities/excersize it's easier to hold the better posture :-)
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263 3/6/13 6:52 A
MUSCATDBQ - Have you ever tried chiropractic care? It sounds like you might have some alignment issues, that they could correct. I've been seeing a chiropractor for a year now, and have such an improvement in back pain.
I have been learning a lot about posture and after a year of constantly correcting myself and focusing on proper alignment both standing and sitting I believe that so many issues we have can be corrected by correcting our posture. When we allow other muscles to be used other than the strong core muscles to keep our balance we are pulling our body out of alignment and muscle and nerve damage can be done. This understanding started last year when I was in a boot that lifted on leg 2 inches and I immediately had horrible back pain and ended up with severe shoulder nerve pain. After finding a shoe that matched the lift (a clog) and with the help of a physical therapist I was able to isolate my core muscles and bring my body back into alignment. Ever since then, I have worked daily on strengthening my core, which alleviates pain in my lower back do to arthritis, mild scoliosis and deterioration of cartlidge in my lower spine. I am a big supporter of proper posture and there is really one great way to find your core and center yourself and that is through yoga.
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214 3/5/13 9:07 P
This is interesting and reminded me of something I need to ask my doctor about next time Im there. I have terrible posture, but sitting with good posture hurts. Not a muscle ache from not being used enough hurt but the bones in my lower back hurt. I can't sit in a chair "normaly" either. I almost always sit cross legged "pretzel style" as that provides me pain free sitting. I'll have to see if there is something else going on. Ive been tested for scoliosis and I don't have that, though I have a flat upper back due to (Im told) my body's congenital protein making issues (Im also really flexible...I don't mind that side effect lol).
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263 3/5/13 8:41 P
Wow! I'm loving all of the suggestions. It's true that just being mindful about posture makes a big difference. My posture was much better today, especially when sitting (as I type lounging back on my couch with my laptop in my lap)! I'm glad I had this challenge to make me more aware!
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305 3/5/13 5:10 P
Work. Your. Core!
The stronger your core muscles, the more your posture will improve. Plus, you'll learn how to be conscious of those muscles, which will help you actively correct your posture.
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48 3/5/13 2:41 P
I am a dental assistant and my seated posture when working on a patient is horrible. Combine that with being overweight and being extremely top heavy has made for lots of lower back pain, hip pain, and well i usually hurt from the top of my neck all the way down my spine. I hope diet and exercise and being more aware of myself will help. Otherwise my heating pad and ibuprofen are my best friends!
S*P's seated core workout was good for me at work last week- you can find it in the Videos section. After a few hours of being hunched at the computer, it was the perfect fix.
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43 3/5/13 12:21 P
Through a physical therapist, I learned how poor posture can cause lower back pain. Since then, I've tried to become more aware of my posture, Pilates and Yoga along with core strengthening exercises have really made a difference.
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4,507 3/5/13 11:35 A
Pilates really helps with my posture. Almost as much as living with a drill sergeant type aunt for a year when I was a kid!
when I did the Spark Coach free trial, I remember the posture challenge. That made me much more aware of my tendency to lean forward when seated.
From what I have learned in Pilates, posture isn't about pulling the shoulders back. It is, in part about pulling the wing muscles down. I know this is a very scientific and exacting explanation!!! Perhaps someone else can fill in the name of those muscles that escapes me right now and be more exact for you. lol.
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1,491 3/5/13 10:57 A
I have a ball chair for my computer at home--sometimes I sit great and sometimes I catch myself slouching--same as a regular chair. It helps more to be conscious of working on it. When you catch yourself not sitting or walking tall, make the change. It will become habit.
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13,335 3/5/13 10:19 A
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You can sit with terrible posture on a stability ball, same as any other chair.
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706 3/5/13 10:17 A
Mel, I had the balance ball chair for awhile. I'm not sure it really helped and I got literally and figuratively tired of sitting on it every day. I would sometimes switch out chairs in the middle of the day. And the ball doesn't really any air flow so I'd get a little (ahem) warm in my seating area. ;-) Honestly, I don't recommend it.
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505 3/5/13 10:15 A
Posture is definitely something I need to work on. I thought about getting a yoga ball chair. I have heard that helps strengthen the core & helps with posture.
I have found that the more conscious you are of it, the less you need an external reminder - you will notice it more quickly and correct it. Part of this is because it just starts to be uncomfortable to use bad posture when your posture is improving overall. I have the same problems with clenching my jaw while working. Ever since my dentist brought it to my attention I am much more likely to self-correct and realize how it's affecting me.
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706 3/5/13 8:55 A
I've noticed that since I'm getting fitter, my posture is getting better. I don't think I'll ever be the person with the best posture in the room, but I'll take any improvement! I just try to keep reminding myself to pull my shoulders back. Most of the time I am not conscious of it, but I try to remind myself when I think of it.
How can you remind yourself to pull your shoulders back when you're not standing? Could you find something external to remind you? For example, every time you look at the clock or you hear a phone ring or something?
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263 3/5/13 6:51 A
Today I've been challenged by SparkCoach to work on my posture. I think when I'm standing, it's much easier to be concious of standing with my feet planted, and my shoulders back and down. Having good posture while seated is a challenge though. I'm a teacher, so I'm often seated on the floor working with children, or in a chair reading a book.
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