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In a Slump? Five Ways to Correct Your Posture Today

Health Hub
Author name: Diana Rippl, MSPT, Director of Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program

Can I really correct my posture?

Just by reading that line, you may have tried to sit up higher in your chair or push your shoulders back a bit. And that’s OK—it happens to all of us especially in these digital days of desk work and constantly checking our phones.

By the time you truly identify that your posture is not where it should be, years of positioning and gravity have taken their course on your body. Bad posture not only looks bad, it can actually be harmful to your health: Chronic back pain, stress on muscles and joints, bad circulation, fatigue, and more.

And did you know: Bad posture actually affects your view of life. It’s true! A study in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry showed that merely fixing your posture to make it upright helped people focus and feel more positive. Better posture also seems to equal more confidence and self-esteem.

Here’s the good news

You can certainly make “corrections” to your posture to make a big impact on your quality of life.

I noticed my own posture wasn’t quite what I wanted when I made the transition from an active job of being a physical therapist to administration. My new role required me to spend most of my day at a computer and desk – and my body was certainly not used to that!

All the sitting has not been kind to my spine, and although I work very hard off the clock to keep my spine mobile and upright, the hours I put in at work outweigh the hours of exercise.

I may not fully “correct” my posture, but I can make corrections and truly feel a difference in my body.

Here are some tips that you can try today for your own corrections:

  • Sit on the edge of your chair with feet flat so that you don’t get tempted to slouch
  • When doing computer work keep the screen directly at eye level
  • Move your spine in all directions every day, flexing, extending, rotating and sidebending
  • When sitting for long periods, get up every hour and counteract the position by standing and reaching overhead or lying on your stomach
  • Try a Pilates or yoga class for spinal health

Exercises and positioning can make a big difference in the way you hold yourself upright. Corrections may be slow to see change but stick with it because you will eventually feel a difference. Consult a physical therapist if you need specifics on how to keep your body moving and upright.

Looking for help with your posture or any other kind of outpatient rehabilitation?

Lee Health has a location near you. Visit our page on rehab today to find all the help you need, schedule an appointment, or learn more about what we do.

Diana RipplDiana Rippl is the director of Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program at Lee Health

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