Good posture can promote spinal health and prevent back pain, neck pain, and other issues throughout the body. Maintaining good posture, however, can sometimes be difficult, especially if one sits at a desk all day long. Slouching is common, and many office chairs do not offer lumbar spine support necessary to keep the spine straight. Altering one's day to day routines can help maintain good posture and eliminate activities that contribute to back aches, neck and shoulder slouching, and leaning to one side or the other. Exercise and regular stretching are also vital to developing and maintaining posture.
Perhaps the most important step toward developing good posture is designing a workout program that works the core muscles of the body. These muscles are responsible for supporting the spine and keeping it in proper position. A core workout will focus on developing muscles in the lower back, abs, buttocks, and hips. Many exercises that fall into this category can be done at home with no equipment, or simply with a stability ball. More intense workouts may involve using gym equipment or free weights at a fitness center. Making an appointment with a professional trainer can help one decide what kind of workout will work best.
Office workers who sit at a desk for long periods of time might want to consider investing in an ergonomic chair. Sitting for long periods of time promotes slouching and muscle weakening. When muscles weaken, they are more prone to injury, and they are not able to hold the spine, neck, and shoulders in a manner conducive to good posture. An ergonomic chair solves this problem by providing lumbar spine support as well as neck support. The armrests on the chair are often adjustable, allowing the user to find a position that places the arms at about a ninety degree angle in relation to a desk or keyboard. One should remember, too, that the eyes are often fixed on a computer screen, so that screen should be level with the eyes rather than down on the desk or up on a shelf. This helps avoid awkward neck angles.
Other exercises can help promote good posture as well. Many of them involve the use of free weights for strength training, such as the bent-over row. This exercise works the muscles in the back and shoulders, again providing balance and strength to muscles that support the spine. One should avoid slumping over when sitting or standing, and make an effort to stand up straight when walking. Gait correction may also be in order to correct poor posture, and a professional trainer can help.