5 Ways To…Improve Your Posture

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It’s the fastest way to lose five kilos (or at least look like you have): stand up straight!

  1. Diagnose Your Posture

The most important step to improving your posture? Knowing what’s wrong with it in the first place. Get checked out by your doctor or chiropractor, or download PostureScreen Mobile ($10.49, iTunes) and upload a few photos of yourself to get the verdict.

  1. What Actually Is Good Posture?

Shoulders pulled back, chin up and back ramrod straight – that’s good posture, right? Actually, no. Good posture is less about looking like you left the coat hanger in your shirt and more about aligning yourself with the natural curves of your spine. Try imagining a piece of string attached to the top of your head that is pulling you up, this will help you to lengthen your spine without stiffly holding a posture.

  1. Straighten Up While You Sleep

You know how we said improving your posture requires work? Well, you can do that work while you sleep! Scientists say the best position for sleep is on your side with your knees slightly bent and your arms out in front of you. Put a pillow between your knees to take any pressure off your hips. This position complements the natural curvature of your spine and will nix that feeling of tight muscles when you wake up.

  1. Work Smarter

Don’t tell you boss, but the number one enemy of your desire to look long and lean is your job. As more and more jobs move from the fields to the cubicle, humans are gaining a uniform foetus-like posture: shoulders slumped forward and in, neck strained and chin jutting out. The fix? Ideally, you should spend as little time sitting as possible. Failing that, sit with your bottom pushed against the back of the chair, plant your feet flat on the floor and try to remember to engage your core. Taking a break every hour for a quick walk around the office also helps.

  1. Strengthen the Forgotten Muscles

If weight lifters spent as much time working their back as they do their chest and biceps all our posture problems might be solved. Two things happen when you are out of alignment: some muscles stretch and weaken (usually the muscles at the back of your body) and some muscles shorten and tighten (usually the muscles at the front of your body).  Reverse the process by strength training your weak muscles and stretching out those constricted muscles.


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