Are you monitoring your posture?

Posture – The position in which someone holds their body when standing or sitting.

Age can sometimes bring mounting frailty and while for some of us, our bones and joints may stay relatively strong, lower back problems do develop from poor posture. Bad posture tends to bring added pressure to the lower back causing the muscles to alter position slightly and if it is not addressed, increasing pain stiffness throughout the spine could occur. Awareness and suitable standing/sitting postures are said to be more likely to create a greater mobility in later years. If you get into good practices earlier on, that care and attention will help your back to stay pain-free for longer. However, whatever your age, it’s not too late to start monitoring yours.

Here are 6 quick tips about posture to be going on with:

  • If you are sitting for an extended period, have short breaks by getting up and stretching to keep the back joints supple.
  • Do some regular stretching exercise encouraging flexibility between the back joints but don’t over strain muscles as this will cause cramp and spasming.
  • Sit up straight to strengthen core muscles. Pilates, Tai Chi and Yoga are all good exercises to help you achieve improved muscle memory.
  • Sitting hunched over a computer screen risks headaches and lower back pain. Make sure your eyes are level with the screen, arms and wrists as straight as possible then look straight ahead. Consider adding headrests to chairs, lumbar support for the spine with armrests to support the whole body.
  • The spine weakens with old age, so the muscles must be kept in good shape as much as they can. Try researching some exercises you can do at home or at the gym which will strengthen the back muscles. Weight-bearing exercises are ideal such as walking and stair climbing to build up good posture
  • Check your calcium intake. Calcium is important for building strong bones. Usually, a nutritious and balanced diet provides the requisite amount needed. Keeping hydrated is also beneificial as water facilitates a supple spine.