(WFSB) – If your parents told you to stand up straight when you were growing up, that was good advice.
Research shows bad posture can lead to many other health problems, especially as people get older.
Doctors have advice on ways to improve bad posture.
“It affects other areas, so it’s important so you don’t put stress and strain on other parts of your body,” said Dr. Alfred Hicks, Middlesex Health Spine Surgeon and Orthopedics Associates of Middletown.
Technology has created even more serial slouching, since so many people are hunched over with their tablets and phones, or sitting at a desk, staring at a computer all day.
“When people do have bad posture, it can lead to other things like the development of arthritis or disc herniations or radiating pain down their legs or arms,” Dr. Hicks said. “In my practice, the first thing we talk about is activity modification. What is it that you’re doing, how is it that this pain is being generated?”
Dr. Hicks says there are some ways all people can improve.
“If people have to work on a screen or computer, I tell them to check their work space. If they have a screen that’s up too high, it’s going to put stress on their neck. Too low, same thing. If their arms are up too high or arms up too low, it’s going to give them some problems, so looking at their workspace and making sure they are sitting in g a good way, comfortable without stress and strain that’s going to minimize those kinds of issues,” Dr. Hicks said.
A lumbar pillow can offer some extra support. Dr. Hicks also says to check your mattress, if it’s old and sagging, it’s time to get a new one.
There are even smart devices out there now, like the Upright, that promises to help people stand taller by alerting them when the start to roll their shoulders.
Dr. Hicks says any changes should be made slowly to reach long-term goals.
“If you’ve got terrible posture, if you all of a sudden try to force yourself to have good posture for the whole day, it’s going to cause some muscle fatigue and pain. So, learning to do that slowly and in an increasing way is good,” Dr. Hicks said.