Sit Up Straight


Is this you?

Kyphosis (curvature in the upper spine) plagues most of us. Blame the computer, blame driving, blame your heavy briefcase, blame sitting on the couch watching TV.

Bottom line: It’s bad posture and it’s ugly.

Even worse, an unaligned spine often accompanies neck, shoulder, back and jaw pain, tension headaches and knee problems. When our spine is out-of-whack, our internal organs have less room to do their job.

Look at your profile. Stand sideways in a natural comfortable position in front of a mirror. Does your neck jut out? Are your shoulders hunched?

Now straighten your spine, lift out of your waist, roll your shoulders away from your chest and move your jaw back in space. Can you hold this position for more than 10 seconds?

  • Cultivate mindfulness. After years of habitually carrying our bodies in certain positions, it takes incredible awareness to catch ourselves slumping and then self-correct. I love these posture tips and reminders.
  • Build strength AND flexibility. Slouching is easy. But you’ll definitely see and feel a noticeable difference in your body when you create a solid foundation in the core, along with openness and flexibility in the shoulders. Try a few of these exercises and stretches.
  • Realign Your Workspace. The placement of your computer screen, keyboard and chair all affect posture. Often one inch here and one there will make the difference between pain and optimum positioning.

Luckily, kyphosis is preventable and reversible. If caught early enough.

Let the words of my first yoga teacher gently remind you … “You’re only as healthy as your spine.”

Now straighten up.

Marta Steele is a Partner at PeopleResults. You can reach her on Twitter @MartaSteele.