Practical tips to improve your posture at any age

Having good posture generally results in less back and neck pain and better balance.

This ultimately means fewer injuries and better everyday comfort. To achieve good posture, Harvard Health Publishing recommends spending most of your time with your chin parallel to the floor, shoulders equal, spine in a neutral position, and arms at your sides. Your body weight should be evenly distributed, with your hips and knees equal and aligned. Your abdominal muscles should be slightly strengthened to hold your core comfortably in place. The hardest part is returning to this position often enough that it becomes your default position, especially if you’re trying to form a new habit later in life. The good news? Chiropractors and fitness experts say there are several simple ways to improve your posture at any age.

7 Simple Ways to Improve Your Posture

Since the average American worker spends eight and a half hours a day at work, your office equipment can have a significant impact on your posture and pain level. That’s why Kevin Lees, DC, chiropractor and director of chiropractic operations at The Joint Society, recommends getting a standing desk and ergonomic chair. “It may seem like the latest craze, but a standing desk helps you maintain that good posture throughout the day and improves your circulation. It also helps keep postural muscles active,” explains Lees. “Office chairs are designed to support your spine, so that once relaxed, the natural curves are retained. Chairs that are not supportive and fit well can leave a person feeling uncomfortable, developing pain after a short period of sitting, causing the person to shift around. siege and sag. Using the support built into a chair allows muscles to relax without developing poor posture. Todd Goldman, DC, chiropractor with Total Chiropractic Care and Wellness, adds that lumbar support pillows and cushions can also improve your posture when sitting.

Using technology often forces our bodies into unusual positions, which can cause us to have poor posture throughout the day. One of the most common complaints is “text neck,” or neck pain resulting from looking down at text. Likewise, “Mac back” refers to the spinal pain that people often experience after sitting at a computer for too long. Lees suggests keeping your phone or computer at eye level while texting and browsing, to train your body into a more comfortable posture. Using technology less frequently overall can also improve your body position.

Strength exercises that specifically target the muscles of your upper back and shoulder blade can also significantly improve your posture, says Josh Weight, fitness expert and director of Physio Gravity. In particular, he recommends trying rows, face pulls, and YTW exercises, which are named for the shapes your arms form while doing them. “Strengthening these muscles helps retract and stabilize the shoulders, creating a strong foundation for better posture. A stronger upper back not only promotes better alignment, but also reduces strain on the neck and lower back muscles. By cultivating balanced strength in these areas, you naturally encourage a more upright and aligned posture,” he explains.

Exercising regularly – ideally at least 150 minutes a week – can also improve your posture at any age. For optimal results, doctors recommend yoga or Pilates, which can simultaneously build core strength, stretch your muscles, and improve your posture through improved body awareness. “Moving and stretching often will keep your muscles stimulated and your posture long. Exercises designed to strengthen your core muscles that support your spine result in a more upright posture,” says Lees. Weight agrees that focusing on your body can put better posture within reach. “Core-strengthening exercises like planks, bridges, and dead bugs target the deep abdominal and spinal muscles that support the natural curves of the spine,” explains Weight. “With improved core endurance, the body is better equipped to resist the onset of fatigue-induced slouching or poor posture, resulting in a more confident and aligned overall posture.”

A back brace is never a permanent solution, and some experts warn that using it frequently can weaken the muscles you need for better posture. However, Weight says that trying on a corset selectively can provide insight into how your body feels when it’s properly aligned — and that’s valuable information to have when practicing new postural habits. “This external signal can be particularly helpful during the initial phases of posture improvement, reinforcing correct body position and helping you become more attuned to your body’s alignment. Over time, as your muscles and awareness strengthen, you can gradually reduce your dependence on the body. splint, with the aim of maintaining good posture independently,” he explains.

We tend to focus on the back, neck, and shoulders when we think about improving our posture, but Weight says some posture issues start lower in the hip flexors. “Tight hip flexors can lead to an anterior tilt of the pelvis, causing the pelvis to tilt forward and excessive curvature of the lower back. By incorporating regular hip flexor stretches, you correct this common imbalance, allowing the pelvis to return to a more neutral position. This, in turn, properly aligns the spine, relieving tension on the lower back and promoting a more comfortable, elongated posture,” he says.

Seeing a chiropractor for an evaluation can help you better understand how your current posture affects your health and what better posture might look like for you. Regular adjustments can also provide practical relief from back and neck pain. “Chiropractic adjustments can realign your spine, release tension, and improve posture,” explains Corinne Kennedy, DC, a Wisconsin-based chiropractor and founder