34 Comments

  1. Rose

    This is a trick I learned awhile ago and I think it works pretty well. While standing, stand as if someone is pulling your hair vertically upwards. Try doing this to yourself. Pull your hair vertically upwards with your hand and experience how it feels on your head and neck. If you internalize this feeling you will stop slouching. I understand it may seem awkward at first, but give it a try.

  2. Keith

    Great article. I know some friends who are singers and classically trained. I can tell you that each one of them believes that posture makes a difference. Posture is often the first thing that voice teachers work on, because it feeds into everything else so much. It makes a huge difference longterm. It allows for better breathing, more relaxed phonation, easier laryngeal drop, easier lift of the soft palette, and less work involved by your body’s secondary stabilizers, which makes the whole thing so much easier.
    Yes, it does make a difference especially in the long term. Have you ever thought of writing a post about singing and posture?

    • Thanks so much for such a thoughtful comment. You raise a very intriguing and interesting topic about posture and singing. No, I haven’t thought about writing a post about singing and posture;however, I think I might do that in the future. Thanks for the great suggestion, Keith.

  3. Skip

    There is a lot of advise out there that exercising will promote good posture;however, I read somewhere that the type of exercise is important because some exercises can make your posture worse. Is that true? If so, how can one make sure they are doing the right exercises to fix the posture instead of making it worse?

    • Excellent question, Skip. People get confused when they are told that some exercises will indeed make their posture worse. Here is the thing. If you sit in a chair all day and then get on a bike for exercise, you are just reinforcing the same seated posture in the gym that you are in at work. Doing activities to get your body out of flexion and into extension is important. That’s why an exercise such is walking is good for posture. It keeps your body in an upward position. I hope this helps. Thanks for checking in. Keep asking questions. This is how we all learn.

  4. Doug

    Is it bad to rely on kinesiology tape for posture?
    Is it bad putting kt tape across the scapula as a reminder to not slouch bad? i sometimes forget to keep a good posture so was thinking of putting on tape to reminder myself throughout the day. is this a bad idea?
    is it best to just do exercises alone to correct posture or is the tape beneficial?
    Thanks!

    • Great question, Doug.

      You should do a combination of things.
      1.) Make an effort to keep your posture correct 2.) Do excersizes, stretches and training to help strengthen your core muscles that will help you meet the correct

      posture. 3.) You can use KT to help but you should not rely in it by itself. You should do steps 1 and 2 along with taping. Thanks for checking in.

  5. Patrice

    Wow! I thought I was the only one concerned, maybe concerned is too strong, thinking about boobs and posture.Big boobs (seriously, I stand up straight I feel like I’ve put a neon sign pointed to my chest!) plus trying to look shorter was a terrible recipe for posture. That said, great post. It’s got people talking, right?

  6. Inga

    This post hits close to home but maybe not for the reason that most people think–at least if you are guy. It really hard, like a constant battle for me. I actually slouched for different reasons (I have big boobs and standing up straight kinda made them..stick out more? I slouched so that I would stop getting comments from creepy people on the streets.) I just have to consciously remind myself to sit up straight with my shoulders back. I try and walk more with my head held high rather than looking down at the ground. I know this isn’t something that is often discussed when taking about posture—too embarrassing I guess. But it is something that woman like myself deal with. Well enough of the rant. I actually appreciate this series on posture, and I must say you come across as a caring individual and one of the good guys. Keep up the good work.

    • Hi Inga,
      I actually read a very moving post a few weeks ago about a woman who for years was embarrassed because she slouched on account she was top-heavy. You are right. This is a topic that should be discussed honestly and with respect. Thanks for checking in.

  7. Curtis

    Glad I ran into this post.I’m constantly worried about my posture. It’s horrible and probably getting worse every day, using the computer slouched over like some kind of…slouchy guy. What’s the best exercise you can do to fix bad posture? Thanks

    • Hi Curtis,
      I will be getting into the best exercises for good posture in more details later in the series. For now, I think your first “exercise” should be to try to correct your posture as much possible when using the computer. Adjust your chair, desk, computer, etc. to get you out of the slouching posture. Exercises will help strengthen muscles to improve posture, but you need to be aware of what is not good posture and what is good posture.
      As for the best exercise to strengthen muscles, I would recommend core stabilization. There are numerous ways to improve core strength and where to start out depends on your current abilities to activate the core muscles. As I said, I will be getting into the topic later on;however, if you can’t wait I think doing planks is very good start to building your core muscles. There are numerous videos on youtube on the proper way to do a plank. Thanks for checking in.

  8. Yvette

    It’s possible with Yoga. I have terrible posture (I work a desk job and slouch over at my desk 8 hours a day), and yoga helps a lot. What do you think?

  9. Simon

    I know that sleeping on your stomach is a bad idea when you are trying to fix your posture;however, I tried sleeping on my side and it’s very uncomfortable for me. Have any suggestions?

    • Hi Simon,
      Yes, it’s true that you should never sleep on your stomach. It’s just a bad position that can result in bad posture and back problems. I am glad that you are trying to do something about it by sleeping on your side. You can try putting pillows alongside yourself to keep from rolling onto your stomach. Or get one of those big wrap around body pillows. Let me know how things work out. Thanks for checking in.

  10. Samuel

    This is a very good post. However, I think that some people get confused with the whole notion of bad posture. If bad posture is.. Well bad. Why does it feel so comfortable then? Shouldn’t our body signal us through pain or something that it’s bad? I’m not doubting the validity of your excellent post. I’m just saying that this is a question I have heard asked. How would you answer it. Sam

    • Hi Sam,
      This is an excellent question and I’m glad that you asked it. Bad posture feels comfortable because your body has made adjustments in order to satisfy the “unnatural” position you’ve put it in. This works perfectly well up to a point, but over time it causes added stress to your joints and muscle groups. Later in life this can take a toll and you can end up with not only bad posture but also a bad back. I hope that has clarified things for you. Thanks for checking in. Thabo

  11. Sarah

    This is great timing because I have noticed that my posture seems to be getting worse every time I cook. Your post made me think about the connection between cooking, more specifically doing prep, and possible bad posture. When we cook, we hunch over countertops to chop, dice, peel, marinate etc. Often and without thinking we instinctively hunch over the stove or slump over a cutting board. This causes neck strain that works its way down the spine. I think people should become more aware of their posture when cooking. What is your suggestion for the best way not to wreck your posture while cooking?

    • Hi Sarah,
      Great observations and a great question. I think there are several things that you can do. You can start by doing your prep, if possible, sitting down so you’re not hunching over. Also, to alleviate pressure, stand on a rubber mat or rug while cooking. You can also invest in a “Reacher” so that you don’t have to twist your body into an awkward position trying to get something from the cabinet that’s above your head. I hope these tips help. Thanks for checking in.

  12. Emily

    Imagine a string holding you up perfectly straight from the top of your head.
    A professor told me this a long time ago and it is always in the back of my head. I get lots of compliments about my posture lol

    • Hi Emily,
      That’s wonderful news, Emily. That’s a great suggestion for those that can do it. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to be aware of one’s posture. However, I’m glad that you don’t have problems with your posture, and that you’re not waiting for the pain to come. Instead, you’re proactive in ensuring a healthy posture for years to come. Good for you! Thanks for checking in.

  13. Ellena

    How do you maintain good posture in a society which causes these very issues. I’m thinking about going on a summer holiday early to try to give myself no “desk-time” and more time to correct my posture. The problem is when I come back I will again face the issues of sitting at a desk, using a computer, using a mobile phone, etc. All really bad for your health. However, we are all responsible for our own health. So thanks for pushing me to pay more attention, regardless of the challenges, to my posture. I am looking forward to this series. I want to see what mistakes I’m making.

  14. This is a wonderful post and I can really understand how bad posture can play a significant role in you health.

    I know many times I have to check myself to see how I am setting, standing ect… as I will have a tendency to slouch over, especially spending so many hours a day at a computer. I just find it hard sometimes to find a comfortable position.

    This sounds like it is going to be a great series, I will be waiting for the rest of the series to come out and find out what are the 7 mistakes related to bad posture.

    • Thanks so much, Dena. I was inspired to do this series because of the positive reaction I got whenever I wrote a post about posture. I realize that many of my readers want to find more about “what mistakes they may be making” when it comes to fixing their poster. There’s so much information out there on the internet and some of it is confusing and some just plain wrong. I hope this series will give people clear and “safe” ways to correct bad posture.

  15. Hi Thabo,

    Thank you for another great article and the warning.

    You are absolutely right: preventing chronic pain is much easier than fighting it later. Bad posture, if not corrected in time, could definitely result in chronic back, neck, and head.
    Is it possible to fix bad posture? It’s a tough question. Be aware of your posture is good advice, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. It’s similar to saying “be aware of your breathing”, or “be aware of your gait”. We can be aware of our posture, breath, walking style only when we exercise and pay attention to these things. It’s very hard to pay attention all the time to the things and actions we perform automatically. But that’s what one actually needs to do in order to fix bad posture.

    I have mild scoliosis since childhood. Since the age I was diagnosed until now, I’ve probably paid more attention to my posture than the majority of other people (unless others are dancers or athletes), and yet, my posture is not good. As a young girl, I really wanted to look nice. At my current age, I still want to look nice, but I also don’t want to have those pains you described. I do get occasional neck pain, but it’s not chronic yet.

    I read your article sitting nice and straight at the desk in front of my computer 🙂 , but most of the time I work on the computer, my posture is terrible, and I work on the desktop computer a lot. I purposely don’t use mobile devices and even laptop, because that would be even worse for the posture. When I focus on my work, I often forget to get up and stretch.

    I started dancing Argentine tango 6 years ago. That fixed my posture a lot, and yet… On the dance floor, I look nice and straight most of the time. But at other times, I still forget to straighten my back, relax shoulders and carry my chin higher. 🙁

    Visiting chiropractor is good, but that’s only a temporary solution. A chiropractor would realign our body, but we need to exercise and train the appropriate muscles to keep the alignment. Deep tissue massage performed regularly at least once per week would be even more helpful than the chiropractor visit, but it gets unaffordable!

    I agree: it is possible to fix bad posture. But it’s a job on its own! And yet, it’s better to be done before it’s too late.

    Thank you for the helpful tips and for the reminder.

    • Hi Julia,

      Thanks for this thoughtful response. I think you present a balanced view, as someone who has suffered from bad posture, because you effectively address the pros and cons of some popular treatments that are used to help manage or treat the effects of bad posture. Thus, you add a valuable voice to our discussion of whether it is possible to fix bad posture. Thanks so much for checking in.

  16. Once again, I am reminded to have better health and lifestyle. Thank you, Thabo for this article, and reminder.

    For some time now, I have frozen shoulder. At the early stages, it was unbearable pain, and shoulder so stiff I could not raise my arm above shoulder level.

    Then I went for Traditional Chinese Massage where the master did acupressure. After some months, my arm is now more flexible. And the master advised that I should start exercising before my muscles get weak.

    In recent months, I noticed that I would, at times, have bad posture. I attribute this to not exercising, and not doing enough movements and stretching.

    Your points about doing stretches – neck stretches, shoulder rolls, arm raises, etc, came at the right time for me. I am reminded to do this or more shoulder will get frozen again.

    I had been thinking of starting with gentle yoga. What do you think of this option?

    • Hi Tim,
      Fixing posture takes time, but it’s really important.
      Yes, gentle yoga can help. There are cases where people have had bad posture because they did a lot of hunching over the years and yoga has helped straighten them out. Some have even reported that after a daily practice for a month they have been able to notice a change. If you’re just starting out, your shoulders and back might hurt for a few days but that’s just your body realigning. However, I think gentle yoga might indeed be a good option as it will relax and not stress the body. I hope this helps. Thanks for checking in.

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