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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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                      Health, Wellness & Productivity Writer

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                      Last Updated on January 21, 2020

                      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                      Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

                      your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

                        Why You Need a Vision

                        Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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                        How to Create Your Life Vision

                        Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

                        What Do You Want?

                        The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

                        It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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                        Some tips to guide you:

                        • Remember to ask why you want certain things
                        • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
                        • Give yourself permission to dream.
                        • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
                        • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

                        Some questions to start your exploration:

                        • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
                        • What would you like to have more of in your life?
                        • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
                        • What are your secret passions and dreams?
                        • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
                        • What do you want your relationships to be like?
                        • What qualities would you like to develop?
                        • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
                        • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
                        • What would you most like to accomplish?
                        • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

                        It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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                        What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

                        Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

                        A few prompts to get you started:

                        • What will you have accomplished already?
                        • How will you feel about yourself?
                        • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
                        • What does your ideal day look like?
                        • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
                        • What would you be doing?
                        • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
                        • How are you dressed?
                        • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
                        • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
                        • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

                        It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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                        Plan Backwards

                        It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

                        • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
                        • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
                        • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
                        • What important actions would you have had to take?
                        • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
                        • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
                        • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
                        • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
                        • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

                        Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

                        It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

                        Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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