I have been concerned about my poor posture for a few years. I’ve been working hard to sit up straight and strengthen my core muscles. I recognized that a hunched over posture doesn’t give your internal organs the room they need to function well. I began sitting up straight while working on the computer and I’ve been conscious of my posture when up and about.
But the problems have remained and I couldn’t figure out why. I finally decided it must be harder for me to correct my posture at 36 than it would have been to have learned to sit correctly from the beginning. I kept struggling, making a posture check a normal part of my day-to-day activities.
I recently interviewed a posture expert for the summit coming up that I mentioned in a previous post- you’ll learn more about that awesome, free summit in November. During my interview with her, she mentioned that people with posture problems tend to roll their shoulders forward and their head is too far forward. That night, I climbed into bed and got comfortable. A lightbulb went off when I realized that I spent 8 hours a night with my shoulders rolled forward and my head pushed out!
I was sleeping on my side with both elbows pulled up, level with my shoulders. This automatically rolled my shoulders forward and rounded my back, mimicking the same posture stance I was struggling against during the day! That night, I started sleeping with my bottom arm pulled up comfortably, but my top arm with my elbow down, along my body, and my arm draped comfortably around my waist. I then made a conscious effort to lengthen and straighten my spine instead of sleeping with my chin tucked down. I basically made an effort to sleep in the same position I wanted to sit in during the day.
The next morning, I noticed a significant decrease in the pain and the alignment problems between my shoulder blades and up through my neck. Over the next couple of weeks, I noticed an improvement in my posture. My chest came up and the rounding in my spine at the base of my neck began to lessen.
The end result was that my back pain, misalignment and poor posture have significantly decreased over the last few weeks. Every time I wake up or roll over in the middle of the night, I do a quick posture check before I go back to sleep. I’m slowly training myself into a good habit.
I now find when I do a posture check during the day, the problems have lessened. My problem has stopped completely, but it’s now at a manageable level that continues to improve in my day-to-day life as I continue to work on it.
So if you or your kids are having problems with your posture, check your sleeping position, it might just be the one thing keeping you from improving!
photo credit- Baseball and Posture by Terry Bain, on Flickr