Anyone who has consulted with me or has stepped foot inside Monmouth Spine and Rehabilitation Center understands the important role that posture plays in our overall wellness. However, even a number of our patients have overlooked a major influencer on our posture which is the way we sit. Many of us spend most of our days working in front of the computer, driving a vehicle, or relaxing in front of the television. While doing these activities, it is very easy to slouch or slump for long periods of time which can be absolutely horrible for our posture. Slouching for significant periods of time weakens our back and neck muscles and can slowly deteriorate the discs and vertebrae in our back.
Slouching is not always our fault. Many chairs and couches do not provide the proper support for our backs. Even many that do provide good support are not used properly by us. So what can we do? Following are a few tips to help you avoid the slumping and slouching and help you keep sitting up nice and straight:
1) Ergonomically correct furniture: It is always a great start to have furniture that will help promote proper sitting. Now, a large price tag does not equal quality. I have seen some “designer” names that claim to be very comfortable but do not provide any support whatsoever. Do your research and understand which chairs and couches will be a smart buy and give you a good head start towards proper posture.
2) Use a lumbar roll: Lumbar rolls are normally smaller rolls of firm foam that are designed to be fastened to a chair with elastic straps into the lumbar curve. When sitting down, the lumbar roll promotes your lower back into proper alignment which reduces any type of muscle strain and encourages good posture.
3) Firm pillows: If a lumbar roll is not available, try placing one or two pillows in the lumbar curve while sitting on the couch or upright in bed. This would again be done to help keep the back straight and neck upright. These pillows can come very much in handy on long airplane trips as well. We all know how uncomfortable those airline seats can be. Try placing two of those small airline pillows around the lower back to help keep straight. You might even find this more comfortable when trying to relax.
4) Make sure to move around: No matter how good we keep our posture during sitting, we should always make a point to get up and move around a bit after a good amount of time. Get up to use the bathroom, go get a healthy snack, or even just stand up for a good stretch. Standing up will help keep the muscles, back, and neck in good standing.
We all pay such close attention to the way we stand and move around that we can sometimes overlook our sitting posture. This can be very dangerous to our overall wellness. Considering the rather significant amount of time we take a seat, we cannot overlook our posture during this activity. If you have any questions or comments in regard to good posture while sitting and relaxing, please do not hesitate to ask our staff at Monmouth Spine and Rehabilitation Center. We are always happy to help.