Like millions of Americans, you're probably slouched in a computer chair staring at a monitor with a forward-drawn posture. Poor posture is everywhere, yet there is a simple solution to improve it that most people don't know about, unless they go to a chiropractor or physical therapy. By performing a 30-second stretch every so often, poor seated posture can be a thing of the past.

Effects of poor posture

Not only is poor posture unattractive, it has serious negative health effects. Humans have muscle memory, which trains muscle fibers to perform a certain task or assume a certain position. This is the reason why poor posture gets poorer if not corrected. The muscles "remember" a position as being "normal", when in fact it may be very abnormal. Poor posture reduces lung capacity, adds stress to the spine, accumulates muscular tension, and leads to a higher susceptibility to injury. Socially, poor posture is associated with depression and a feeling of dejection. The human's innate ability to recognize body language interprets poor posture as an uninviting gesture. Although not all people with poor posture become social outcasts, there is a downward spiral with poor posture and it should be addressed early on. After reading that, check your posture now, maybe you straightened up at the beginning but are now back to slouching. It's okay, there is a simple solution that can bring back good posture.

Desk chair postural correction

These exercises should be performed as often as possible, their effects are summative and lead to better posture. Better yet, it only takes a minute to perform.

Sit up at the edge of your chair with both feet flat on the ground shoulder-width apart. Imagine a string running from the ceiling to the top of your head pulling it upwards. As it pulls, each vertebrae separates and the natural curves of the spine become accentuated. Now tuck your chin in as if trying to touch it to the back of your head through your skull. This should provide a deep stretch to the muscles that connect the spine to the base of the skull. Take a deep breath in, filling the belly, and rotate your hands outwards bringing the shoulder blades together as if squeezing a pencil between them. Hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds and slowly breathe out and relax. After the first time performing this exercise, a noticeable change and feeling of comfortable upright posture should be evident. This may last for seconds to minutes depending on the severity of posture degradation. Repeat this exercise whenever it feels like poor posture is creeping in again. This will help change the muscle memory of poor posture to good posture. After some time, this proper seated posture will become automatic and poor posture will become uncomfortable.

It's as easy as that!

This stretch alone can reduce pain associated with poor posture and can be performed by almost anyone, anywhere, and at any time. In addition to improving posture; this stretch will relieve muscle tension in the shoulders and can provide an overall sense of well-being. Now sit up straight, stretch out, and get back to work!
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