Jan 17, 2023 Simple Ways to Improve Your Posture

By Tony Nguyen, PTA, a physical therapist assistant, Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center, Livingston, NJ

Slouching is something many of us naturally do without even realizing it. It is not until we are aware of our poor posture that we attempt to fix it. Every time you sit down is a chance to practice better posture habits! So these are some tips and exercises that I found to be helpful to improve your posture.

Sit up and squeeze you shoulder blades!

The simple act of sitting up straight as opposed to slouching can make all of the difference in how you feel. Slouching puts a lot of extra stress onto your spine, impacting the bones, muscles and joints throughout your backbone. Plus, slouching strains your organs as well, as it makes it harder for your lungs and intestines to work the way they are meant to. Next, Squeeze the back of your shoulder blades for 5 seconds and a total of 10 times. The consistent action builds strength and muscle memory for you posture.

Watch out for text neck by doing chin tucks!

It’s easy to focus on your phone for long periods of time as we enter the blackhole of social media reels and videos. This results in your neck tilting down in order for you to see your screen, putting a strain on your spine. Rather than adjusting your head to see the phone, adjust the phone so that you don’t need to strain your neck. In addition, try doing chin tucks to relieve some of the forward head posture.

Step by step guide to perform a chin tuck:

  • Sit upright and look straight ahead
  • Place a finger on your chin
  • Pull the chin and head straight back until a good stretch is felt at the base of your head and top of your neck
  • Hold for 5 second and repeat 10 times or as tolerated

This exercise activates your deep neck muscles and can align your head back into good posture. It is encourage to do it whenever you have free down time or incorporate it into your commute or morning routine!

Tony Nguyen, PTA, is a physical therapist assistant at Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center in Livingston, NJ. He treats patients with both orthopedic and neurological conditions, with a special interest in concussion and Parkinson's disease. Tony completed his BA in History and Education at Rutgers in 2010 and received his Associates of Physical Therapist Assistant at Essex County College in 2016. He recently completed LSVT Big certification and is currently working with early intervention children as a child developmental specialist. When Tony is not in the clinic, he enjoys being active, spending time with family and traveling the world.

The Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center Rehabilitation centers are open and ready to help you achieve your goals. With four locations in West Orange, Millburn and Livingston, the experienced and compassionate staff at Cooperman Barnabas Rehabilitation offers adults and children the specialized care they need to resume an active life after surgery, injury or illness. They are committed to providing patients with the most advanced services in a safe, caring and soothing environment. For high-risk patients who are unable to visit in person, telehealth is an option. Patients do not need a prescription for physical therapy services.