Posture guide: how to avoid slouch

Slouching can result in serious long-term back issues. Take steps now to correct your posture and you’ll lessen the likelihood of future back problems.

Step 1 Hold your shoulders back. When people slouch, they often roll their shoulders forward, causing them to hunch over. Gently roll your shoulders back and down. Maintain this position to keep from hunching forward.

Step 2 Elongate your neck, keeping your chin level. If you drop your chin toward your chest, you are more likely to hunch your shoulders. Maintain a neutral neck and you’ll be less likely to slouch.

Step 3 Use your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles support your back, fortifying proper posture. Draw your abdominal muscles in and feel them support your back. Together, your back and abdominal muscles make up your core, helping you to stand up straight.

Step 4 Picture a line coming out of the top of your head, pulling your spine straight. Visualization exercises can help you to maintain good posture. Whenever you start to slouch, picture this line pulling your back straight. It will help you readjust your posture and not slouch.

Step 5 exercise. Regular cardiovascular exercise forces you to work your core muscles and encourages good posture. Aim for at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three to four times weekly. Good forms include jogging, walking, cycling and swimming.

Step 6 Stretch. If you hold tension in your shoulders, back or neck, you are more likely to adopt poor posture. Practice basic stretching exercises to release tension, such as shoulder rolls or gentle neck stretches. Make stretching part of your daily routine and you’ll notice improvements in your posture over time.

Step 7 Try posture belts or bands. These devices wrap snugly around your lower spine and abdominal muscles, offering support. The belts or bands fortify your abdominal muscles, helping them to engage and support your back. Since the devices encourage good posture, it is more difficult to slouch when you wear them.

Step 8 Check in with your posture hourly. Set an alarm to remind you to check in each hour. As you regularly correct your posture, it will become habitual until eventually you aren’t prone to slouching.

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