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Most Common Postural Mistakes We Make

16 June 2022

Posture is the body position when one stands or sits. It elaborates on how one’s spine is aligned with their head, shoulders, and hips. Majority of the office workers do not sit properly which often leads to neck, head, or back pain’ muscle/joint strain and potential injury during work, exercise, and other activities.

A good posture refers to having a neutral spine where the joints, muscle groups, and ligaments are aligned in a way that minimize stress, reduce fatigue, and maintain balance. Poor or out-of-alignment posture is common that can affect an individual’s appearance, decline self-confidence and general well-being

The good news is that some quick fixes can make a huge difference. In this post, we would discuss a few common postural mistakes that we make and how to fix them.

1. Putting Head Forward

When one sits in a forward head position, the effects range from neck pain and stiffness to headache. According to research, this posture decreases lower thorax (mid-spine) mobility and it leads to reduced respiratory function. The more you lean forward, the greater the head weight and strain you exert on your spine. This can lead to a very bad effect.

When you are in a neutral position, your head weighs 10 to 12 pounds. Due to forward posture, it is 15 degrees out of alignment, the force increases to 27 pounds. At 45 degrees forward, it increased to more pounds which are up to 49 or more. So, make sure that you keep your head aligned above the spine. Your face should be forward, your chin should be tucked down and you must pull your head back until it meets the wall.

2. Not Moving Enough

One of the major mistakes according to all experts is that individuals stay in one position for too long. One of the doctors, Dewan backed up this fact by saying that human bodies are meant to move and they must have postural changes throughout the day. Ideally, individuals must stretch, move or somehow change their body’s position after every 30 minutes according one of the known orthopedic surgeons Cordelia W.C Carter.

Whether an individual is sitting on a normal desk or a standing desk, staying static in of the positions for too long is going to lead to discomfort and pain. Technically, any good posture can become a bad one if you stay the same for hours. So, it is suggested to move around after every 20-30 minutes to keep your posture improved.

3. Hunching Your Shoulders

When one rolls their shoulders forward, a chain of bad posture begin according to a certified athletic trainer, Lauren Shroyer. It is not recommended because it exaggerates the curve in the upper spine, pulling human’s head and neck into an unhealthy tilt. It also causes pelvis to tuck in, limiting how lungs expansion and decreasing their capacity. Additionally, it also affects heart and respiratory health.

The longer one spends time in that position, the greater habit-forming they become. So, make sure that you stick to your belly or chest out. Lengthen your spine to give your body as much height as possible and relax your shoulders down to get you to where you are required.

4. Gazing Downward for Too Long

If you have a desk-job and you read or type on a cellphone or desktop for too long, you are putting your health in danger. Our heads are heavy and when we tilt them forward for too long, it puts a lot of tension in the neck and upper back muscles, instead of the weight being evenly supported by all the spine muscles.

One must ensure holding their head up straight with line of sight being parallel to the ground beneath you. Make sure that you hold handheld devices right in front of your eye or at least at your shoulder’s height rather than around your waist. Another good way to bring your monitor on your eye-level is to raise your monitor’s screen or stack books underneath it so that your neck and spine are in the neutral position when we look at it.

5. Using the Wong Size Keyboard

A wide or narrow keyboard encourages poor posture. Wondering how? Well, when the keyboard is too wide, your arms are splayed out at a wide angle, causing your chest to open up and pull you in. However, experts suggest that our forearms must be resting on the surface and elbows should be hanging straight down at your side.

Those who have more width of shoulders, wider chest or a bigger frame must use a huge keyboard in front of them. On the other hand, someone who has a smaller build should use reasonable size of keyboard.

6. Keeping Elbows and Wrists Bent for Too Long

Another point that everyone who use keyboard often must keep in mind that when we keep our wrists or elbows bent for too long, it put strain on the joints and the nerves across them. One must rest wrists on the desk as they type, leaving wrists over-flexed for too long.

We may not realize this now but this undue pressure can lead to tingling and numbness in the fingers in the long-run. Such problems include cubital tunnel syndrome, and carpal tunnel syndrome to support them.

7. Not Using Core Muscles

When you lower your back to slouch or allow your belly to push forward while sitting, you trigger lower back pain and problems like herniated discs in your low back and spinal stenosis. One must focus on pulling the belly button in toward the lower spine however, you should not be doing it in a way that you curve your lower spine backward, but just in a way or enough that those lower abdominal muscles engage.

Final Word

When it comes to ways to improve your health, posture correction or its mistakes may not be the first thing that come to your mind. Though it can have a big impact as to whether or not you develop chronic conditions like bone spurs, arthritis, osteoporosis and how your body feels and functions on a daily basis. Poor posture can lead to a variety of repercussions on your body, however, if you ignore the mentioned mistakes, we are sure you will enjoy a healthy lifestyle.