3 Tips to Improve Sitting Posture
Recent studies have shown the inevitable health consequences of sedentary lifestyles. “Sitting disease,” according to posture guru, Dr. Steven Weiniger, is a real and growing concern in our society, especially as our reliance on technology both at work and at home continues to skyrocket.
When a majority of a person’s time is spent sitting, especially in a hunched posture, the body’s muscles weaken which impacts everything from circulatory issues to breathing to digestion. “It is a disease,” says Weiniger. “People who spend 12 hours or more per day seated are at greater risk for diabetes, heart disease, and life-threatening falls.”
But the good news, he says, is that even if you’re desk-bound most of the day, there are ways to combat a hunched posture and keep your body’s muscles in proper working order.
Try these 3 tips and feel a difference in your appearance, attitude, and energy!
1. Use an exercise ball at your work station. Sitting on an exercise ball on the job helps strengthen your core WHILE you work! You can also use it for posture-strengthening stretches, according to Weiniger. He suggests arching back over the ball to help unlock and reverse muscles tightened by poor posture.
2. Try a supportive seat for your office chair – Dr. Weiniger recommends a foam wedge. “A foam wedge is an inexpensive tool that really does help strengthen posture,” he says. Unlike lumbar supports that work with the back of the chair, a supportive seat helps you to use your own core muscles to keep your spine aligned. “Products that do the work for you aren’t helping you fix the problem,” warns Dr. Weiniger.
3. Be aware of your posture throughout the day – make reminders for yourself to sit up straight! Dr. Weiniger suggests that just being reminded about slumping too much is a great way to make sitting taller a habit. “When people think about good posture, they think it’s just about keeping your shoulders back. That’s part of it, but not the whole idea. A better strategy is to imagine a balloon pulling your body up from the center of your head.” Above all, he says, you have to work at it, just like anything else.