How Long Does It Take to Correct Posture?
When people decide to stop slouching, their first question is usually: how long does it take to correct bad posture?
After all, it’s reasonable to think that a habit formed over many years would take just as long to reverse.
It may surprise you to learn that with the right tools and techniques, reprograming your physical form is a relatively quick and easy process.
The telltale signs of bad posture
Let’s take a look at the three most common posture pitfalls to avoid if you want to fine-tune your form:
A flattened back
How do you normally react when you catch yourself hunching over or someone reminds you to “sit up straight”? Most of us will attempt to sit or stand bolt upright, with our back locked in an unnaturally stiff position. This is a mistake as our spine is not designed to be entirely straight but rather to follow a natural curve. Try to avoid overly extending your back, especially when standing for long periods, otherwise, you may suffer pain in your lower back, upper back, or neck. Sitting technique is no less important; ensure that your workstation is set up to provide adequate comfort and support.
Pro tip: If you’re serious about wanting to fix your posture, you might consider investing in a smart posture trainer like the UPRIGHT GO 2. This tiny device will help strengthen your back and core muscles as you go about your daily activities.
A protruding butt
How your weight is distributed around your body can also affect your posture. Individuals with heavier chests or stomachs tend to unintentionally stick their butts out to balance themselves. Take that, Gravity!
While balancing one’s body in this way might seem like the natural thing to do, it puts a lot of tension on the lower back. Tension that, if left unchecked, can lead to full-on pain.
One way around this is to simply raise your head upward and look straight ahead, taking care not to stick your neck out too far forward.
This is one posture no-no that we see all the time. You might be doing it right now! If your shoulders are drooping down and in toward your chest, you have what’s commonly known as rounded shoulders.
It’s a sign that your back muscles may be too weak to stabilize your shoulders. An effective way to build back strength faster is to combine core exercises with posture awareness. In other words, making small but consistent adjustments to your body position throughout the day.
Why you should fix your posture
You now know how to identify bad posture, but is it really that serious of a problem? What’s the worst that can happen if you continue to slouch?
Over time, a poorly aligned spine can cause muscle tightness, nerve damage, and blood vessel restriction. It also puts a great deal of pressure on the upper and lower back, often resulting in soreness and pain.
But the list of posture-related ailments doesn’t end there.
If you experience digestive issues such as nausea or bloating on a regular basis, poor posture might be to blame. It makes sense when you think about it. If your torso’s all hunched over, your internal organs are squashed together, restricting blood flow and preventing them from functioning optimally.
In addition to causing numbness in the extremities, poor blood circulation can be the reason you’re always feeling so tired. In more extreme cases, restricted blood flow can also damage the internal organs.
While not directly responsible for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), bad posture can certainly exacerbate the condition. Those rounded shoulders we mentioned earlier put a great deal of strain on the sensitive nerves in your wrists and hands. Correcting your shoulder position can help to relieve and even heal chronic CTS.
Check yourself before you wreck yourself
Poor posture, like all bad habits, can end up hurting us in the long run. But with a little self-awareness and the right guidance, we can break free of those negative patterns. Behaviors to look out for include:
Excessive smartphone usage
As the amount of time we spend on our phones increases, it’s important to pay attention to our phone etiquette. Rather than tilting your head forward, try holding your phone screen at eye level. This will reduce neck strain and save you from developing the dreaded “text neck.”
Too much computer time
For most office workers today, sitting at computers for hours on end is unavoidable, despite the negative impact on our health. Spending 9 to 5 slouched over those computers, however, is totally avoidable. Prop up your monitor using a laptop stand so that it’s just below eye level and at arm’s length. Better yet, ask your employer for a posture-friendly standing desk. Oh, and don’t forget to get up and move around as often as possible.
Carrying overweight bags
Lugging heavy bags around is bad news for your back and shoulders. The extra weight will make you want to lean in the opposite direction to counterbalance yourself. Don’t even think about slinging it over one shoulder because it looks cool – not unless you want a lopsided posture. If you absolutely must carry a heavy bag, wear it over both shoulders so that the weight is evenly distributed.
While we’re on the subject of heavy lifting, make sure you never pick up hefty objects with your back. To avoid injury, let your legs take most of the weight, bending at the knees as you lower yourself.
So, how long does it take to correct bad posture? Hold your horses – we’re getting to that!
Fix your posture and the rest will follow
If you’ve read this far, you must be determined to make a positive change in your life. Here are some actionable tips that will help you do just that:
Did you know that how you sit affects how you stand? It’s true. Mastering your form while seated will strengthen your back and core muscles, making it easier to fix your posture when standing.
Our natural tendency is to lean forward in our chairs, but this puts undue pressure on the lower back. It’s preferable to sit straight up so that your shoulder blades are in line with your butt.
The importance of stretching cannot be overstated. If your muscles are too tight, you’ll find it near impossible to get your back and shoulders into proper alignment. Correct posture involves more muscle groups than just those found in your upper and lower back. Loosen up each day with some full-body stretches – because your downward dog needs walking too!
Strengthen your core
Your core is essentially the part of your body that’s keeping you upright. So, it stands to reason that a weak core usually equals poor posture.
There are many exercises you can do to strengthen your core muscles such as planks, crunches, deadlifts, and squats. But did you know that practicing good posture also engages your abs, lower back, and obliques? That’s right – you can give your abs a workout without even breaking a sweat!
Wear a posture trainer
Bad habits are notoriously hard to crack. There’s absolutely no shame in admitting that you need help in overcoming undesirable tendencies. More and more wellness seekers are turning to wearable health tech devices to track everything from steps to calories to sleep.
Smart posture trainers like the UPRIGHT GO 2 use real-time biofeedback and daily progress stats to encourage you to be more mindful of your body. The aim is for you to reach a point where you’re maintaining a healthy posture all by yourself.
How long does it take to correct your posture?
Habits are typically formed over years of repeated behavior, so you can’t reasonably expect to change them overnight. It takes time and perseverance to build the new muscle memory needed for long-term health benefits.
By practicing good sitting posture, regularly stretching, and doing core-strengthening exercises, you should see results in anything from a few months to half a year. Posture correction is an ongoing process and everyone responds to it at their own pace.
Having said that, many people who use the UPRIGHT GO 2 report seeing results in as little as 14 days, making it the fastest-acting posture trainer on the market.
Now that you have a better understanding of how long it takes to correct bad posture, it’s time to step up your wellness game and get UPRIGHT.