Disclaimer: This article contains an affiliate link for the posture corrector I purchased and in no way received any compensation…
Starting to Slump
A few years, ago a friend commented on my great posture and it surprised me. It was a compliment I’d never before received, and quite frankly, prior to the comliment I had never thought of my posture. Last summer, though, I noticed that my posture wasn’t what it used to be and it concerned me. I don’t spend a lot of time driving, but I do spend too much time in front of my laptop, both activities that can have a detrimental effect on posture.
While typing away on a subsequent blog post, I could actually feel my shoulders slumping forward in a way that I hadn’t noticed before. I caught myself needing to pull my shoulders back, something that used to happen naturally…
Finding the Right Posture Corrector
I momentarily shifted focus from my blog and opened another tab on my laptop. Once the familiar homepage for Amazon opened, I typed posture correction into the search. Several items popped up and I pretty quickly narrowed it down to two. Of the two, I chose this back brace (affiliate link) because of its ease of adjustment while covering less of the body, hopefully making it cooler to wear.
Once my corrector arrived I eagerly slipped it on, amazed that it wasn’t overly cumbersome. I started out wearing my brace for only about twenty minutes and gradually added more time as the weeks progressed. Yes, my back was tired at first, but nothing serious and the soreness went away after a few days. I wore it for longer periods until my body gradually returned to better posture. Now I only wear it if I’m overly tired and feel myself slumping or need to spend an extended amount of time at my laptop.
View from front…
View from back…
What Causes Poor Posture
Heredity can play a role in rounded or sloped shoulders and can become more noticeable as we age. More commonly, though, poor posture is caused by lifestyle choices and can be reversed. Too much time spent at a computer, smart phone, or similar device can contribute to rounded shoulders. Similarly, holding onto a steering wheel while driving can present the same problems. The repetition of these activities causes our upper back muscle to elongate and weaken while our chest muscle become tight and that combination pulls our shoulders forward.
Exercises to Improve Rounded Shoulders
Not one to expect a magic pill to do the trick, I’m always willing to do the work to fix the problem at its core. As I mentioned, rounded shoulders are often the result of weak upper back muscles and tight chest muscles; therefore, strengthening the back and stretching out the chest can go a long way in improving posture. Prior to purchasing my posture corrector I was doing strengthening exercises for my upper back, but I was not stretching my chest muscles – something I also immediately incorporated into my routine.
Exercises to strengthen upper back:
- Standing or seated row
- Rear delt fly
- Reverse and forward shoulder rolls
- Isometric scapular retraction
Stretches to elongate chest muscles:
- Doorway chest stretch
- Chest stretch laying on back on a Swiss ball
- Open chest by laying on half round or rolled towel
Six Ways to Improve Your Posture
Exercise alone is not the cure-all for improving posture, but it’s an excellent step in the right direction. This combination of exercise, stretching, and modifying your daily activities can go a long way in giving you the posture you desire…
- Become cognizant of your posture and make corrections as necessary – sit or stand tall, shoulders back and down, relaxed neck
- If possible, limit time in front of computers, smartphones, and other similar devices
- Take frequent breaks from activities that cause the shoulders to move forward
- Incorporate an exercise program
- Stretch regularly
- Wear a posture corrector if/when necessary
Final Thoughts on My Posture Corrector
Wearing my posture corrector was a great reminder to sit tall and with good posture. It was the perfect tool to retrain my muscles to engage so I wouldn’t slump while working at my laptop. The combination of wearing my brace, focusing attention on my relatively new tendency to slump, and continuing to do the exercises and stretches mentioned above all aided in getting me back on track to better posture.
I am happy that my posture corrector is now in a drawer ready to help if needed, but that I’ve graduated to rarely using it. As I mentioned earlier, it’s always good to go to the root of the problem and make changes there rather than looking for the quick fix.
- • How is your posture?
- • Do you spend very much time working on a computer or driving?
- • Do you do any of the above exercises?
Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link which means if you click on the blue product link and then make a purchase, I will receive a small commission for referring you. You will pay no more or less for the product; however, Amazon will show their gratitude for my referral by paying me.