The posture problem

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Ahh! That back pain and stiff neck is one of the most troublesome problems these days. It feels as if I have been paralyzed. When even lying on the bed on a straight back feels like being a part of a war with your body. It almost kills you and gives you many sleepless nights.

The underlying cause of such sudden and acute pains is often ignored. It is your posture. Sounds dumb? Well try and observe yourself the way you stand in front of a mirror. Stooped back, slant legs, protruding stomach are some of the most common incorrect postures observed. It may seem a bit overrated but if do keep a regular check on your posture, half of your problems would surely fly away. We generally tend to suffer from such problems when we have a knack for reading.(We nerds call it the book reading syndrome!) Where we cram ourselves on the sofa or a corner to read a book in peace. What we don’t realize is that it ends up with our spinal cord in pieces! Literally.

All age groups suffer from this problem. The elders suffer because they have turned into couch potatoes with their computer doing the work for them. Its easy to sit back on the couch and watch television with a bucket of popcorn but its not easy to prevent the tummy from taking the shape of an expecting woman.

In order to improve our posture we first need to accept the fact that our posture needs correction. Whenever it comes to a change, we are always in denial. So you need to be your own critic.

First step to getting a correct posture is to identify a good posture. A good posture is when all the parts of your body are in alignment with each other.

To do this, the best way is to stand against a mirror and check whether your body is in alignment or not or you can stand with your hand pressed against a wall.

Next you have to train your body muscles to do the job. Focus on exercises or routines which help you to strengthen the muscles on your upper back. This would automatically lead to correct posture.

You really don’t need to turn into a hulk for a posture, it is just for the memory of  your muscles which would help you to unconsciously maintain a good posture. Some really simple exercises are given on the internet to help you with your arm muscles. I have listed some to make it easier for you.

Exercise One

Make sure that your upper body is aligned with an upright head and your ears aligned to your shoulder. Next, outstretch your arms and move them back and fro in an effort to touch your shoulder blades. Repeat this exercise at least ten times. Square your posture, head upright, so that your ears are aligned over your shoulders.

Exercise Two

  • Make sure that your body is in alignment as in exercise one. Outstretch your hands and move them up till your shoulders and down till you touch your thighs. Do this exercise at least ten times by slowly counting to ten.
  • Do stretches.
  •  This can greatly help if you find that you have a sore back or neck. It is also beneficial for people who have to spend long hours sitting in their office. A good stretch for even five minutes can keep most of the problems at bay.
  • For stretches, move your head in all the four directions in clockwise and anti-clockwise rotation. Move your head really slowly or it could cause a strain in your neck.
  • For hands and knees, try stretching your arm upwards and then slowly try to touch your toes by exhaling.
  • Repeat the exercises a few times each day. According to experts,doing them in the morning helps your body stretch out the muscle lethargy of sleep. Done periodically throughout the day, it will help to raise your energy level without a heavy workout.

Avoid unintentional back injury.

Lifting and carrying presents extra loads and balance problems that are not part of your normal, everyday physical structure. It can cause serious pain in your back resulting in stooping back. Try to lift heavy objects and keep it closer to your chest. It would make sure that your back doesn’t stoop. If your going home back from your shopping spree try balancing the weight of the bags in both your arms. A quick tip-Always bend your knees and not your waist to raise heavy objects. Its easier and wouldn’t cause much pain. If you are still in a denial phase, here are some of the other devils listed below which are caused by incorrect posture-

1. Improper Digestion- By remaining in a seated position for a long period, your intestines are compressed and not capable of functioning at ideal levels. This slows the digestive process and also your metabolic conversion.

2. Mood-Slouched posture has been proven to have a negative effect on mood. Those who sit for extended periods of time report higher levels of depression. So the next time you feel sad, try changing your sitting position.

3. Work Performance- Try imagining someone walking up to you with a stooped back or a protuding stomach.What would be your thoughts about that person?Poor posture effects the way that you are viewed by others. If you are hunched over at your desk, co-workers or supervisors may assume that you are tired, disinterested, or unmotivated.                                                                                      4. Increased Stress Levels and breathing problems- Compressing your body constricts your breathing. To compensate for this constriction, our lungs and heart have to work harder causing stress in the body. Also when enough oxygen doesn’t reach in your body, you would feel lethargic with frequent muscle pains too.

 

Greetings everyone!I am Surbhi Sharma, an undergraduate science student from Delhi University.