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5 Posture Mistakes People Easily Make, And How To Do Them Right

5 Posture Mistakes People Easily Make, And How To Do Them Right

Remember how grandma used to heckle you about sitting up straight, ramrod back and all? Well, turns out she was 100 percent right. Many of us don’t really realize how we end up abusing our muscles, ligaments and tendons, when we do something as inane as sitting or sleeping wrong.

A bad posture causes unnecessary stress to a body part – the common ones being the back, neck and shoulder muscles. Over time, this stress causes the muscles to get weak and strained, leading to aches and chronic pain as well as a tendency towards sprain and injury [1].

So here are a few points on the ‘right’ posture to have when doing myriad things – and how avoiding posture mistakes helps stave off any muscle pains, pulls or sprains [2].

Posture One: Phone Usage

With the average American spending about 37 hours a month engaged in phone apps, games or texting – and the associated neck ailments related to poor posture while doing it – we decided to go with the posture of using smartphones first. Sitting hunched in a chair with your head hanging down to look at your phone is possibly the worst posture to text in. This causes your neck muscles to take all the weight of your 10-20 pound head, giving rise to cervical aches, herniated disks and tension headaches and an overall fatigue in your neck muscles [3].

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All JayZ is getting, is a crick in his neck; Image via Bossip.com
    All JayZ is getting, is a crick in his neck; Image via Bossip.com

    The correct posture is for you to raise the phone to chin height, keeping the back straight and the shoulders square. Remember to stretch your neck and rotate your shoulders frequently when using the phone for long hours to ease the stress on the muscles and not make any posture mistakes.

    Via DescribeTheFauna/EthanYoung

      Posture Two: Sleeping

      Think you sleep right? Then why do you have an ache the first thing in the morning? When you stay in bed, reading or watching TV, or even sleeping with your head propped up by a stack of pillows – you are basically giving yourself a crick in the neck, and a longtime practice of this will ultimately leave you with chronic neck or back pain [4].

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      danielinbed_web

        The correct sleeping posture is to avoid propping up your head on the pillow and thereby keeping your neck straight; and supporting your hips with another pillow while keeping the spine mildly arched. A good and restful sleep in the correct posture will stave off any back or neck strains.

        Via DescribeTheFauna/EthanYoung

          Posture Three: Standing

          We all think that we’ve been doing this right since we first learnt how to stand when we were pints. We think wrong. While different body types tend to stand a little different, it’s basically the center of gravity that dictates the correct way of standing. Remember that you may be in a hurry to get to somewhere – but that’s no excuse to pitch your upper body forward and commit a litany of posture mistakes [5].

          celebbadposture
            So what if they are celebs – they spell bad posture! Image via hobokenbackpain.com

            Think of a gravity line extending downwards from the center of your head – it should fall between your ears, shoulders, hips knees and ankles – this is the correct standing posture.

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            Via DescribeTheFauna/EthanYoung

              Posture Four: Sitting

              The first thing about desk work is to remember not to hunch yourself in your seat. Also remember to keep changing your positions through the day. Sitting still is a recipe for a disaster called back pain [6].

              9copy
                Yet another bad posture by Beiber; Image Via cosmopolitan.com

                The most important thing about desk work is lumbar support – the lower back needs to be in contact with a firm, comfortable surface – not hovering a foot away. The others things to keep in mind that your elbows should be at 90 degree angles and the feet need to be flat on the ground.

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                Via DescribeTheFauna/EthanYoung

                  Posture Five: Walking

                  If you are walking with your feet turned out, you are walking wrong [7].

                  10
                    Maybe we should rename this article as The Bad Postures of Beiber! Image via friedjunk.com

                    The toes need to point straight, and the shoulders need to be relaxed. Walking is a rhythmic thing; you need to rock forward from your heel and then push off from your toe. The trick lies in balancing your gait with hands free by your side and swinging in natural motion. And remember to tighten the core a little – pulled in abs will make your walking that much more efficient.

                    Via DescribeTheFauna/EthanYoung

                      Remember that the correct posture comes with practice. Keep checking yourself over posture mistakes and soon good posture will come as naturally as breathing.

                      Reference

                      [1] http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Backpain/Pages/back-pain-and-common-posture-mistakes.aspx
                      [2] http://greatist.com/health/ultimate-guide-good-posture
                      [3] http://www.medicaldaily.com/texting-puts-50-pounds-pressure-your-spine-adding-poor-postures-side-effects-311152
                      [4] http://greatist.com/happiness/best-sleep-positions
                      [5] http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/multimedia/back-pain/sls-20076817
                      [6] http://greatist.com/grow/ergonomic-tips-sitting
                      [7] https://www.verywell.com/how-to-walk-walking-posture-3432476

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                      Last Updated on September 16, 2019

                      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                      You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                      We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                      The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                      Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                      1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                      Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                      For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                      • (1) Research
                      • (2) Deciding the topic
                      • (3) Creating the outline
                      • (4) Drafting the content
                      • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                      • (6) Revision
                      • (7) etc.

                      Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                      2. Change Your Environment

                      Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                      One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                      3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                      Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                      Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                      My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                      Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                      4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                      If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                      Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                      I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                      5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                      I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                      Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                      As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                      6. Get a Buddy

                      Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                      I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                      7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                      This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                      For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                      8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                      What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                      9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                      If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                      Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                      10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                      Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                      Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                      11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                      At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                      Reality check:

                      I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                      More About Procrastination

                      Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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