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Effective Exercises To Improve Your Posture

Improving your posture takes a little work and patience, but it’s well worth it–good posture can help you look and feel better. If you want to stop slouching or get relief from back pain, start to work on your posture in all parts of your life, whether you’re sitting at your computer or standing. We’ll give you easy strategies to check and correct your posture, as well as exercises to help strengthen your muscles.

Improving Your Sitting Posture

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Make sure your back is at a right angle to your thighs. Keep your thighs at a right angle to your calves. Keep your shoulders straight and squared, your head upright, and your neck, back, and heels aligned.

  • Align your back with the back of the office chair. This will help you avoid slouching or leaning forward, which you may find yourself doing after sitting too long at your desk.

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2 Check your posture by sitting on your hands. Put your hands under your sit bones while you are sitting on the floor. Make sure that your palms are facing down. Adjust your position until you can feel the weight centered on each of your palms. This is your optimal seated position.

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Adjust your legs and keep your feet flat while sitting. Your feet should be flat on the floor, facing forward. Don't cross your legs or ankles. Make your thighs parallel to the floor.
  • If your feet don't touch the floor, use a footrest.

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4 Find a supportive chair to help you maintain good posture. Use a chair that's ergonomically designed for proper support, meaning it supports all of your back, even the curve at the bottom. Also, make sure it's designed for your height and weight.
  • If you can't get a new ergonomic chair option, try using a small pillow for lumbar support in the small of your back.

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5  Adjust your computer monitor to help with your posture. If you work on computers at an office, angle the monitor slightly upward so that it forces you to sit up. However, don't set it so high that you push your chin out to see it.
  • You may need to move your chair up or down if you can't angle the monitor properly.
  • Adjust your chair and your position so that your arms are flexed, not straight out. Aim for roughly a 75- to 90-degree angle at the elbows. If they are too straight, you're too far back, and if they are more than 90 degrees, you're either sitting too close or you're slouching.

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6 Make adjustments to your seat to maintain good posture while driving. Adjust your seat to maintain a proper distance from the pedals and steering wheel. If you're leaning forward, pointing your toes, or reaching for the wheel, you're too far away. If you are bunched up with your chin on top of the steering wheel, you're too close.
  • Use lumbar support for the curve of your back when possible. Adjust the head rest so the middle of your head rests against it. Your head shouldn't be more than 4 inches (10 cm) away from the headrest while driving. Keep your back against the seat and your head against the head rest.
  • Your knees should be at the same level as your hips or slightly above.
  • Good posture is also important for safety in the car. Your car's protective systems protect you best when you are sitting properly in the seat.

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7 Take standing breaks when you're sitting for long periods. Even if you're using perfect posture while sitting, you need to stand up and stretch or walk every hour or so. Just walking around the room or getting out of your car for a few minutes can help.
  • If you tend to get engrossed in your work, set an alarm to remind yourself to take a break.
  • In addition, these breaks are also good for your health as your body needs movement throughout the day.

Improving Your Standing and Walking Posture

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1 Find your center by standing up straight and tall. Keep your chin level with the ground, your shoulders back, and your stomach in. Let your arms fall naturally at your sides.
  • Place your feet about shoulder-width apart, the same stance you would use for working out.
  • Imagine a string holding you up. As you stand tall, imagine a string is coming from the ceiling, pulling you upwards. Keep your lower back inline, and don't move to your tiptoes. Visualization techniques like this one can guide your sense of the proper position you should be in.

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2 Use a wall to teach yourself correct posture. Stand with your back against a door or wall. Just touch the wall with the back of your head, your shoulders, and your butt. Your heels should be 2 to 4 inches (5.1 to 10.2 cm) away from the wall. Slide your hand behind your back to check for space.
  • You should be able to slide your hand behind your back but only by a little bit. If you have more space than that, pull your belly button back towards your spine to help flatten your back a little.
  • If you can't slide your hand behind your back, arch your back so that you can.
  • Try to hold this position as you move away from the wall, rechecking as needed.
  • Away from the wall, if you simply put your head back, tuck your chin in, and pull your abdominals in, then you will find that your spine, shoulders, and chest automatically go into the positions that they're supposed to be in for good posture. Think about it: If you put your head back and tuck your chin in, then your chest will automatically be out front. And the good change in spine position will automatically push your shoulders back, to the correct position, and encourage the proper curve to the middle of your back (near the bottom of the rib cage). Then, it becomes quick and easy to think: "Head back, chin tucked, abs in." Go back to the wall again and notice that the wall actually guides you to achieve this very posture of "Head back, chin tucked, abs in"

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3 Have someone tape an X on your back to help correct your posture. Make an "X" from your shoulders to your hips. Add a straight line of tape across your shoulders closing the top of the X. Wear this during the day to help retrain your back.
  • This technique works really well if you hold your shoulders back before taping.
  • Use a tape meant for skin, such as a medical tape.
  • Instead of tape, you can buy a posture corrector online.

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4 Keep your weight on the balls of your feet. When you rest on your heels, your natural tendency will be to slouch. Instead, stand up straight, shifting your weight forward a bit.
  • Now rock back so that your weight is on your heels. Notice the way your entire body shifts into a "slouchy" posture with this single motion.

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5 Walk as if you have a book balanced on your head. Imagining a book on your head will help you keep your head up and your back straight. If you're having trouble imagining it, try a real book for a few minutes.[12]
  • Have a good standing posture while moving. Walking with good posture is simply an extension of standing with good posture. Keep your head up, shoulders back, chest out, and eyes looking straight ahead while you walk.
  • Avoid pushing your head forward.

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