How Do I Improve My Posture

In this article “You Asked: How Do I Improve My Posture?“, many posture problems stem from sitting all day at work. Among the recommendations to improve posture include having a properly arranged workstation, changing postures frequently, and stretching. Dr. Mary Ann Wilmarth of Back2Back Physical Therapy recommends taking a break every hour to stretch.

Dr. Brad Stotsky of BreakOut Advisors and Rehabilitation has recommended the following exercises that you can do at or near your desk for your posture, neck and back. As with any set of exercises, you should consult your medical professional or trained physical therapist before starting.

  • Shoulder Blade Squeezes: Sitting or standing, squeeze your shoulder blades down and together. Hold, then relax. Maintain good neck and lower back posture during the exercise. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times, three times  per day.

  • Bilateral Shoulder External Rotation: Sit upright, elbows at 90 degrees with palms facing up. Keeping your elbows stationary, move your hands apart as far as they will comfortably go and return to starting position. Maintain good posture throughout the exercise. Hold for 1 second. Repeat 10 times, three times per day.
  • Chin TucksSitting or standing with good posture, tuck your chin back by pulling your head straight back while keeping jaw and eyes level. Hold and return to starting position. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times, twice per day.
  • Pectoralis Minor Stretch: Stand in a doorframe with both arms RESTING on the doorframe, elbows bent at 90 degrees.  Gently and slowly walk both feet into the doorway enough to feel stretch across the chest and front of shoulders. Hold, slowly back out of the doorframe. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times, twice per day.

  • Seated Trunk FlexionSit upright with legs apart. Bend forward at the waist so that your body slides between your legs. Let gravity slowly pull your body down. Hold then return to start position. Should feel no pain. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times, once per day.
  • Standing Backward BendStand with your feet shoulder distance apart. Place your hands on your hips. Arch backwards. Return to starting position. Hold for 1 second. Repeat 20 times, for 3 sets.  Once per day.
  • Seated Hamstring StretchSit on the edge of a chair, one leg bent and the other leg straight with toes pointing up. Lean over the straight leg. Gently let gravity pull you forward and stretch the hamstring on the straight leg. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times, three times per day.
  • Standing Quad StretchStand tall, keeping shoulder, hip and knee in one straight line. Bend knee and reach back to grasp foot or ankle. Gently pull foot towards buttocks creating a stretch in the front of thigh. Hold. Slowly lower your foot to starting position. You can use your opposite hand to balance on something stationary. You can also prop your foot on a table or the back of a chair instead of grasping your ankle. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times, three times per day.

All of these exercises can be found in the PT-Helper App for iOS and Android. Using keycode 7A318EC2 will place these exercises into your exercise list. Taking a break every hour, you can do a few of these exercises at a time and complete the set over the course of a day. View Keycode Entry Tutorial.
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