15:22 PM

How to Improve Your Posture

AARP reports sitting for long periods of time and the effects of aging are likely to take a toll on your posture.

AARP spoke to Christina Rodriguez, PT, DPT, OCS, cert. MDT, physical therapist at HSS, who explained, “We begin to naturally lose muscle mass in our 30s, and it really starts to accelerate in our 50s. But we need this muscle strength and endurance to hold us upright and stand up against gravity.”

With aging, people may notice a decrease in their balance, and will instinctively look down more, which will throw off their posture. “All these age-related changes together can lead to rounded shoulders and a forward head tilt, which affects your posture and also can cause neck, shoulder, upper-back and lower-back pain,” said Rodriguez.

If poor posture is caused by years of sitting slouched over, general muscle weakness and limited flexibility, this can be improved by daily lifestyle modifications. “Our bodies were designed to move, so the most simple thing to start with is to avoid sitting for long periods of time,” cited Rodriguez. “When we sit, we usually slouch and spend a lot of time either looking down at a device or craning our head forward." She advised, “When you're sitting, periodically squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold for a count of three to five seconds.” Furthermore, Rodriguez suggested to check that your chin is parallel to the floor and your ears are close to being aligned with your shoulders, when sitting at a computer.

Read the full article at AARP.org.