For years I remember my mother and father kept telling me not to slouch. When we were at dinners or had invited guests over to our place I kept getting the same instructions over and over. Don’t slouch it’ll ruin your posture. As kids, we do not really understand the relevance of a good posture, and neither did I. Several years later, having completely ignored my parent’s warnings here I was with not only terrible posture but aches and pains in my back and shoulders because of it. It got to a point that I couldn’t bear the pain for long and had to consult a specialist for the problem. So how long does it take to correct your posture? What do you think? Before we get into that let’s talk about what are the primary causes of bad posture.
Habits Causing Bad Posture:
1) Too Much Smartphone Usage: People tend to bend their necks down while texting or watching something on their phone. The amount of time spent on the phone has drastically increased. We spend so much time looking down at our phone we hardly notice the effects it’s having on our bodies. It not only causes you to strain your neck muscles but distorts your posture as well.
How To Fix: Keep your phone screen at eye level rather than tilting your head forward.
2) Working Too Long On the Computer: Sitting in one position too long is not only bad for your posture but detrimental to your overall health as well. Your body is constantly in a slouching position with your hands held forward putting pressure on your shoulders and lower back.
How To Fix: The best fix if you absolutely have to use computers in your daily routine is to seek a standing table. If you are not able to find a standing table, get yourself a nice laptop stand. Your monitor should be within easy arms reach and just slightly below eye level.
3) Overweight Backpacks, Purses: Lugging around with overweight backpacks and purses causes undue pressure on the back and shoulders. It makes you want to overcompensate for the weight by either leaning backward or forward leading to a bad posture. Slinging the backpack over one shoulder is slightly worse.
How To Fix: Do not carry the load unless absolutely necessary. If necessary, wear the bag over both shoulders. Function over style. Also don’t hesitate to drop the bag to the floor every chance you get.
4) Lifting Heavy Things With Your Back: Anyone who has ever had back pain will know how important it is to never lift anything heavy with your back. If you have back pain chances are your body will try to compensate and that will surely lead to some terrible posture.
How To Fix: Use your legs to lift. Avoid bending forward with your back. Try to bend your knees and move lower. Use your thighs and hips to lift heavy objects rather than your back. It will take some getting used to but you really should put it into practice.
You are guilty of at least a few of these habits if not all of them. Still wondering, how long does it take to correct your posture? We’ll get to that soon.
What I’ve mentioned above are just habits the cause bad posture, but what is bad posture? Poor posture is actually the result of some of your muscles shortening while others elongate unnaturally and become weaker. This leads to your body having to compensate by not being able to stay tense for long. Common signs of bad posture are rounded shoulders, arched back, slouched back, head tilted too far forward
and many more.
How To Fix Bad Posture and How Long Does It Take To Correct Your Posture?
Since bad posture is caused by muscle shortening, weakened muscles, and a weak core the solution is exercise.
1) Stretching Exercises:
A lot of stretching exercises. All those muscle groups that have been ignored will have to pay special attention to. Calves, Lower Back, Shoulders, Chest are all muscle groups to which you have to do stretching exercises for.
2) Concentration: Just as bad habits can lead to poor posture, good habits, paying close attention to your posture and attention to detail can help you regain your perfect posture. If you notice yourself slouching, correct yourself immediately. Don’t sit in one place for too long, even in the office. Get up from your desk every few minutes to do some stretching.
3) Get Professional Help: Sometimes getting professional help to fix your posture becomes necessary. If you feel like you have not been able to make into inroads to correcting your posture then you should visit a specialist who will be in a better position to guide you.
If you exercise regularly, keep close attention to your posture, move regularly and follow the basic steps that your doctor has mentioned then you could easily reverse years of damage in just a few months. Yes, that’s right, how long does it take to correct your posture? Just a few months. Take pictures of your posture as proof of progress.
Within the first few weeks, to a month, of daily exercise, you should be seeing visible signs of improvement. Your shoulder will not roll forward, your back will feel straighter, people will notice and start complementing you on your posture. In 2-3 months, you will not feel pain in your lower back, your posture will come naturally to you, you will not to pay too much attention to it as it will be second nature to you. Keep going at it until you feel perfect inside and out.