Trying to stand up straight is increasing your pain.
Why this matters:
The thought of standing up straight already leads us to making changes to our posture. One of the most common actions we take during this is to puff up the chest so we can stand “tall”. However, this motion actually increases the arch in our low back and rotates the pelvis forward. If you’re dealing with arthritis or spinal stenosis, standing up in this manner can actually increase your pain because the nerves get pinched. This also leads to tight hip flexors and a hyperactive low back. If you’re interested in standing up straighter and improving your posture, consider driving the crown of your head up towards the ceiling. It may feel like you’re hunching forward, but I promise you that you’ll be standing up taller than ever before. Plus, this will reduce your pain.
Action steps:This video breaks down the optimal standing posture. From foot position, weight distribution, to what you’re doing with your head is all covered in this video. You may notice that it takes some energy to maintain this posture. Practice it enough and it will be a habit, which then translates to a behavior. You’ll be able to maintain this position even when you’re tired.