Written by Erin Davis, PT
Over the course of my career as a Physical Therapist, one of the biggest issues I see with patients is poor postural habits being practiced on a daily basis. Most of this can be due to the fact that individuals are constantly looking down at their phones, hunching over their desks at work, and sitting on their couches improperly. Not to mention, with a special no-thank-you to the COVID-19 pandemic, these bad habits have become increasingly prevalent today.
So, what can we do to help fix bad postural habits and decrease the risk of future injuries to our bodies? Well, we can start by focusing on ergonomics, specifically the way we sit in a chair! When sitting in a chair of any kind, it is important to place your buttocks completely against the back of the chair, and keep your chest up to maintain proper ergonomics. It is also crucial to note that we want to keep that neutral spinal curvature to avoid spinal flexion and any pain associated with that.
Whether you’re using a cell phone, driving a car, or working on a computer, it is easy to revert back to those bad habits without being consciously aware of the poor posture you are maintaining. Instead of looking down or reaching out too far where you are causing flexion to your spine, position yourself at eye-level with whatever device you are using (cell phone, steering wheel, laptop, etc.) and keep it close enough to you where you can comfortably reach out to maintain proper ergonomics.
Overall, in order to improve poor postural habits and decrease the risk of developing injuries associated with poor posture, we have to be proactive about reminding ourselves and others to focus on ergonomics! A suggestion could be to write yourself a reminder on your phone, laptop, or sticky note and place it in an area where you are likely to see it on a daily basis and can remember to “straighten up!”
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