We’ve all been told at some point to “stand up straight!”, but what does good posture really entail? Correct standing posture involves alignment of our spine and shoulders over our pelvis with knees and ankles stacked under our hips. It can feel overwhelming to try and maintain this all at once so try this: sit at the edge of a chair with your feet on the floor, imagine a string pulling the top of your head towards the ceiling, lightly tuck your chin down, bring your shoulders back, and drop your rib cage downward (all without arching your back); now hold for 10 seconds. Performing this simple activity 5-10x daily can begin to train your body how to maintain correct alignment. Once your body learns the mechanics, the task becomes simpler and you’ll find yourself sitting with better posture in no time.
Although we often associate poor posture with causing low back pain, it can also lead to pain in our neck, shoulders, and knees and lead to conditions such as rotator cuff and meniscus tears. This happens because without proper alignment, it becomes difficult for our muscles to work effectively and puts strain on areas that aren’t meant to take on additional loads or forces. So as you are going about your day, whether standing or sitting, imagine that string pulling your head up and stand aligned–your body will thank you for it!