Total Health

4 tips to improve your posture in 2023

January 13th, 2023 by
Category: Dr. Erin Conway Pain Posture

woman working from a desk in an incorrect sitting posture

Unfortunately, poor posture is quite common among Australians and can affect humans of any age. “The complications of poor posture include back pain, spinal dysfunction, joint degeneration, rounded shoulders and a potbelly. Suggestions to improve your posture include regular exercise and stretching, ergonomic furniture and paying attention to the way your body feels” Source: Better Health

Common postural issues we see in practice

Common postural issues we see across all our practices in Queensland, Victoria & South Australia include:

1. Head sitting forward on shoulders

This postural issue can be caused by a number of things you do in your day-to-day life such as:

  • Looking down at a phone or tablet
  • Working at a desk
  • Driving positions
  • May be affected by specific tight muscles, such as your upper traps and pectoral muscles making the forward posture of the neck worse

2. Hyper lumbar lordosis (swayback or hollow back)

Hyper lumbar lordosis is a common condition among patients and can be worsened by having weak core or gluteal muscles and can cause strain on your lower back muscles which will work harder to hold you in place, contributing to lower back pain.

3. Increased Thoracic Kyphosis (hunched over mid-back posture)

Another common postural issue we see in practice is finding an increased. It can be caused or made worse by: 

Can bad posture be fixed?

In an otherwise healthy patient with no underlying abnormalities (such as scoliosis or severe arthritides), there are many things that can be done about poor posture, including:

See a health practitioner

Beginning with an assessment from your health practitioner (this could be a Chiropractor, Osteopath or Myotherapist, for example), you will learn which areas of your body need to be attended to. Once these areas are identified,  it is common to commence care/treatment. In Chiropractic, this can involve Chiropractic adjustments to the areas of your spine and body that are sitting out of their regular biomechanical position.

Start a stretching routine

It can be helpful to begin a stretching routine (which can also be prescribed by your health practitioner in many cases) at home, and potentially specific strengthening exercises to help stabilise any underactive muscles that could be affecting your posture.

What does good posture look like?

Desk posture

It is good practice while at your desk to have your computer at eye level, your elbows, knees and hips all at right angles and both feet flat on the floor. If you are able to at work, standing desks can also be beneficial when adjusted specifically to your body.

While using devices

Try to hold your phone or tablet at eye level to avoid excessive looking down or up which can place strain on the neck and shoulders in some cases. 

Driving posture

Correct driving posture looks like the following:

  • Have the seat upright to support your back and shoulders.
  • Keep your arms bent; your thumbs should be on the rim of the steering wheel.
  • Keep your knees slightly bent.
  • Sit back in your seat.

For more detail about correct driving posture, read our blog here.

Sitting on the lounge

Sitting on the couch is a difficult place to maintain good posture. Not only are all couches different, but TV height can be too! In general, things that can help protect your posture whilst on the couch include:

  • Not sitting with a twisted spine (ie: sitting facing one direction with your head turned the other way)
  • Not holding your neck up or leaning on one shoulder
  • Using cushions to help support your head if the back of the couch is low
  • Not having your legs crossed for long periods of time
  • Trying to have your TV (or whatever activity you are doing/looking at on the couch) at roughly at eye level

    A Chiropractor’s top tips to improve posture in 2023

Avoid sitting for long periods of time

If you are required to sit for your job all day, try and get up every hour to have a walk around the office or room. If you are required to commute for long periods of time, try to combat this with stretching at either end of the trip and having a good seated posture in the car.

Adequate phone/tablet positioning

 Everyone uses their phone daily, with most people using their devices fairly often. Try to hold your device at eye level when using it -you could set up a widget on your screen to remind you.

If you have self-identified postural discrepancies – get them assessed!

Sometimes professional help and advice is the best thing to do first when it comes to altering your routine or health habits.

If you’re relaxing on the couch – try and notice if you’re straining anything to see what you’re doing

For example, if you close your eyes whilst watching TV and notice your right shoulder is bearing a lot of your weight or that your head is tilted or rotated off-centre, try to correct these yourself by changing positions.

Bad posture is prevalent and there are many things that we as humans are required to do daily that can negatively affect our postures. Bad posture has been correlated with other back issues such as pain and degeneration, so all the more reason to correct yours if you notice it’s askew. A good place to start on a new health journey such as your posture is with your professional musculoskeletal carer (such as a Chiropractor) who can provide you with treatments and lifestyle advice for ongoing support at home or at work. 



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