Keep it in Neutral
What does good posture look like? Many people believe that good posture means shoulders back, way back, and keeping the trunk erect. This military stance (Picture 1) is seen as the end goal for improving posture however it is actually incorrect. Good posture is supposed to be natural, not forced. The most important idea to be aware of with regards to posture is to have a neutral spine. Neutral spine is the position where all four curves of the spine are in good alignment- cervical, thoracic, lumbar and pelvic (Picture 2). This neutral position should be relaxed yet it is also our strongest position. Keeping these natural curves eases the stress and strain on the spine. Our core muscles are the biggest contributor to having proper posture; therefore special attention must be taken to maintain strength in these groups. Many of us sit at desks or in chairs for extended periods throughout the day, make sure to keep upright and not slumped over (Picture 3). Even taking a break to stand or walk a minute can help relax those muscles allowing you to continue your work while still maintaining good posture. Having a hanging head also places high levels of strain on the spine so make sure to keep it up and relaxed (Picture 4). Following these tips and cues will help you maintain better posture.