Poor posture isn’t just an aesthetic problem—it can lead to chronic ailments over time. Muscle weakness, incorrect sleeping and seated positions and protracted viewing of television and computer can all contribute to poor posture, which in turn can lead to other health problems such as headaches, lower-back pains and nerve constrictions. To find out if you suffer from three common posture problems, take two shots of your full body, one anterior (front) view and one lateral (side) view.
- Forward Head
In the lateral shot, check your ear position: if it’s in front of your shoulder-line, your head is too far forward.
May result in: Dowager’s Hump
Remedy: Stand up straight with your back against the wall. Ensure the back of your head is touching the wall. Stay in this position for at least a minute each day.
- Elevated Shoulder
Check your shoulder position in the anterior picture. Ideally, both shoulders should be in line. If one is lower than the other, you have elevated shoulders.
May result in: Scoliosis
Remedy: Position the higher-side arm behind your back. Tilt head away from elevated shoulder till you feel the stretch. Hold this position for half a minute; repeat thrice.
Look at the lateral picture again. If your upper body is curved forward excessively, you are hunching your back.
May result in: Scheuermann’s Disease
Remedy: Lie face-down with your arms spread outwards. Gently lift your hands and chest off the floor, and press your shoulder blades together while keeping your chin down. Hold this position for five seconds; repeat five times.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock. This article first appeared in NATURA magazine issue No.11.