It’s officially been just over two months, we officially went into “lockdown. Undoubtedly, it can be said that it has been a test for many of us. Likewise, it has also been a time to flourish those skills and hobbies. However, we’re sure that lots of you (like us), have experienced those panic moments, like what happens if I have to go to the hospital?
In addition, some of us have had no choice but to work from home, which means we’re less cautious about our working conditions. Who needs health and safety in your own home? Well, if you’re someone who struggles with back, knee, or overall muscle discomfort, you need to make sure that you look after your body.
The Perfect Posture
Here at Circle 8, we are advocates for good posture, general wellbeing and helping our clients to maintain a healthy body. But, what happens when that pain creeps in? For instance, do your knees stiffen up? Many of us had a good two weeks, where we binge-watched Netflix for two weeks (or possibly longer).
Although, the Covid-19 virus has quite literally brought the majority of our lives to a standstill. At first, it seemed like a long holiday. Realistically, it can be asserted that society (at least the UK) have now reached the breaking point in lockdown. What we mean is that most of us have finally finished all of those jobs that we’ve been putting off. Plus, there’s the key workers, especially hospital staff who are on their feet all day.
So, in this article, we want to talk about the following:
- The importance of good posture
- What is “Good Posture”?
- Three Simple Tips to Improve your Posture from Home
The Importance of Good Posture
Firstly, it would be an understatement to say that your posture plays a crucial role in your general health and wellbeing. You might be surprised, to learn that your posture is equally as important to maintaining a healthy diet, regularly exercising and sleeping well. Moreover, your posture plays a supportive role by ensuring that your body is prepared and capable of undertaking tasks with more energy.
Therefore, an accurate description of how posture can help you is that it’s a core feature in supporting your overall health. Besides, when we have a good posture, it means that our body should be aligned symmetrically. Besides, ensuring that the tension on our muscles is accurate. Surprisingly, once you learn how maintaining (or having a good posture) is relatively simple.
Do you know what the true impact that doing nothing can actually have on your body?
We mentioned earlier how many of us have had no choice but to work from home. At first, the thought of working from home is exciting (some of you might still enjoy it). But, the issue is that we don’t really have the correct work stations. What we mean is that you might not have a comfortable or supporting desk and chair.
Perhaps you’re unfortunate enough to suffer from ailments like sore knees, a tight back, or general lower (or upper) back pain and discomfort. We’re sure that you know that you’re not alone. Sometimes, back pain can quite literally be crippling. Thus, when the country is experiencing a lockdown like this, what happens when we can’t attend those all-important physiotherapy or massage sessions. Not only that, but two months is also a long time for anyone to live in turmoil and uncertainty. So, when we experience these external stresses, coupled with back or knee pain, then our posture and bodies will suffer adversely. It is safe to say that lockdown has officially taken control.
During our research, we came across a quote that rings true, especially in the current climate.
“One of the reasons people are starting to feel not great is that their environment isn’t conducive to what their body needs,” says physical therapist Kelly Starrett, DPT, author of Deskbound: Standing Up to a Sitting World. “We’ve gotten stiff from not moving enough.”
Although, we can’t necessarily give you normality this article has been written to show you that you’re not alone. It’s also to help those who suffer from aches and pain by keeping a good posture. We’ve also included some helpful tips that should see you through until Circle 8 Massage in Leeds is back open.
What is “Good Posture”?
We feel that we need to mention that actually maintaining or sustaining a good posture isn’t really a hard task. Although, it is worth noting that there’s a lot of confusion in the “right” and “wrong,” posture. Still, it is worth remembering that our body has been designed in a way for it to naturally maintain a good standing or sitting position.
In other words, our body unconsciously keeps us in a certain position via the automatic use of specific muscles. That said, our society has generally become a “sitting down,” society, even before the COVID-19 virus. Nowadays, we’re used to being able to order food from the comfort of our home. However, we also need to look at the adverse effects of bad posture.
Bad Posture: How it Can Affect You
Of course, you should now know that having a bad posture can result in back, neck and shoulder pain. However, that’s not the only way it affects our body. According to a recent study conducted at the San Francisco University that crouched sloth position that you might find yourself automatically using, can actually affect your mood. Additionally, we have included the six (unusual) adverse effects of a poor posture, which this study identified.
1. Effects, as well as worsen depression
2. Impacts your day to day quality of life
3. Increases the chance of diseases
4. Impacts cut off or even reduces your circulation
5. Stress (physical and mental)
6. Heavy movements (i.e., every step feels like a burden)
We decided to include the “out-of-there” answers because some of them are, in fact, relevant. Plus, there’s been an abundance of medical research regarding this topic. Moreover, it has been proven that back, shoulder, neck and knee pains have been worsened due to poor posture. Although posture might not necessarily be the primary cause of your discomfort, it will undoubtedly worsen it. Thus, we feel that it is essential to understand our posture so that we can have a healthy, happy and comfortable life.
Three Simple Tips to Improve your Posture from Home
We have now reached the point of the article, where you can use our tips to make the lockdown, or “quarantine,” a little more bearable. Also, if you frequently visit a physiotherapist or a professional massage service to manage your pain relief and/or recovery, these tips might come in handy until you can attend your next session.
Plus, we can say confidently that there will be many other professional massage centres, like Circle 8 Massage, Leeds who are preparing to reopen their doors. However, until we are officially allowed to go back to normality, you can still improve your posture. Besides, we have chosen these three tips, mainly because they can teach you how easy it is to learn and have a good posture.
So, without further ado, here are the top three simple tips that can help you to improve and manage your posture better from home.
1. Sitting Correctly
This header was once a controversial topic, i.e., “there’s no right way to sit down.” If you still have this belief, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many people share the misconception that sitting correctly depends on the person. Yes, you can set how you prefer, but if you want a benefit, then this is how you need to do it:
- If you’re sitting on a chair, you need to make sure that your feet are flat on the floor. If not, then use a stool or footrest, instead of leaving your feet hanging mid-air.
- Next, you need to ensure that you keep your knees (either at or below) your hip bone.
- Maintaining a relaxed posture can help your body to naturally adjust in the “correct” sitting position.” So, you should also keep your shoulders relaxed throughout.
- Your forearms should be parallel to the ground
- Finally, you need to make sure that you have back support, which can capably support your entire back.
2. Standing Correctly
This tip, is a little less controversial, to elaborate on what we mean is that it goes back to what we mentioned earlier – think about it? Our bodies have been specifically designed to naturally, maintain, manage and support itself, through various functions, including posture. The easiest way to practice standing correctly is:
- First, you need to make sure that the sole of your feet is carrying your bodyweight equally. So to do this, you need to stand with your feet approximately 4-5 inches apart.
- Once your confident that your weight is balanced equally, you now need to think about your core. So, now you need to pull your stomach muscles in, draw on your shoulders and back for the best possible result.
- Next, your hands should naturally hang at the side of your body.
- Finally, you apply all of these steps simultaneously, as well as maintaining a tall and straight (but not stiff or tight*) structure.
3. Lying Position
Now, you might have noticed that we haven’t included the term “correct,” or “proper,” for this tip. The reason behind this is because when it comes down to comfort, it is dependent on your personal preference. You see, we’re going let you into a secret. So, when it comes to sleeping correctly, you need to ensure that you have a comfortable, supportive mattress.
Although, it’s also okay if you prefer a harder mattress. Likewise, the same also applies if you prefer a softer one (but we don’t recommend anything too bouncy). Generally speaking, sleep comes down to how relaxed your body and mind is, so the step you need to implement first is making sure that your sleeping station is comfortable for you.
However, it is worth mentioning that right now there isn’t a “correct” or “official” sleeping position. You see, when it comes to sleep, our bodies behave subconsciously, to get into the best position for relaxation. Still, we do have two handy tips to improve your posture while your sleeping:
- We recommend always using a supportive pillow. You should also try to keep your head in an elevated position, compared to the best of the body. Plus, this position supports your body and helps to improve your circulation.
- Avoid lying on your belly. Now, this isn’t necessarily a tip to improve your posture. However, sleeping on your stomach has been proven to be detrimental to our bodies.
The Bottom Line
Well, we hope that you have enjoyed reading this short blog, as much as we loved writing it. The bottom line is when it comes to your posture, is that you subconsciously already know how to do it. The only thing that is left is for you to train your muscles and body to start doing this naturally. Plus, the best news about improving your posture (which is why you shouldn’t let it slack), is that you can start feeling better almost straight away.
Undoubtedly, we have to agree with the researchers and medical professionals, who advocate that the correct posture, sleep levels and overall reaction can give your body and wellbeing. Therefore, what are you waiting for? Start improving your posture today! Also, before we finally leave you, if you’re looking for a professional massage, whether it’s a sports massage or deep tissue massage, then speak to us here at Circle 8 Massage, Leeds.