Good posture is important to keep a back strong. Poor posture causes the muscles of your neck and back to become tense against gravity, causing pain, headache, fatigue and even injuries to nerves and muscles. By learning how to stand with good posture, you can reduce back problems and muscle pain by effectively balancing your weight.
Pay attention to your posture when standing to identify bad habits. Some common problems include letting the shoulders fall forward, allowing the stomach to extend outward, so that the lower back bends inward, which results in your head hanging or all your weight falling on one leg. Check your posture during the day, when you walk or wait in line to start breaking bad habits, suggests the Spine Health website.
Test your posture against a wall to accustom your body to good posture, suggests the Mayo Clinic. Place your heels about 2 or 4 inches from the wall, with the head, shoulder blades and buttocks touching the wall. Slide your hand with your flat palm, between the wall and your lower back. If the space between the wall and your lower back is wider than your hand, insert the abdomen to straighten the curvature of your lower spine. Move slowly away from the wall to practice maintaining your posture.
Keep your shoulders back but relaxed. Letting your shoulders fall to the front reduces the pectoral muscles, the Mayo Clinic warns, reducing flexibility. Move your shoulders back and keep them straight without tightening them too much. If your abdomen moves forward when you pull your shoulders back, it means that you have moved them too far back.
Keep your head straight and balanced on the top of the spine. Your head is quite heavy, so letting it fall forward generates a lot of tension in the muscles of your neck. If the nape of the neck does not touch the wall during the previous test, then you are keeping it at the front, notes Spine Health.
Good posture may feel rare or even uncomfortable when you start to improve it, but over time it will be easier, the Mayo Clinic reports.