Even when life is business as usual (which these days, it is most definitely not) having poor posture is one of the most common gripes of people with desk jobs. Ergonomic chairs and optimal desk set-ups can cause even the most conscientious of us to slouch or hunch over our computers; however, now that life is WFH until further notice, having good posture is even harder to master.
But pros say that the first step to correcting the situation is body awareness. There are posture-correcting apps that you can try, such as Upright, which tells you whether or not you’re sitting up straight and physical therapist-approved pillows that help you to have better alignment as you snooze for eight straight hours. If you’re looking for a zero-dollar solution, however, you might want to try the five point test, which physical therapists use to assess patients for imbalances in the body. According to a Physiotutor Youtube video on posture analysis, assessing how well you’re sitting is more complicated than visible slouching.
There are actually five key areas to pay attention to if you want to assess whether or not your posture is optimal. In the video, Andreas Heck, CEO and founder of Physiotutors, suggests standing up straight, looking straight ahead, while keeping your shoulders and arms relaxed. Obviously, it’s helpful to have someone look at the points below for you, or get them to take a video of you so you can reassess later. Even better, talk to your physical therapist or chiropractor over a Zoom video chat, especially if you see something that might be off because they’ll really be able to help you out.
Remember that correcting your posture takes time, and is a pretty big commitment that can come from multiple different adjustments. You’ll need to check yourself throughout the day—every day. Find yourself slouching? Sit up. Carrying a bag? Switch which shoulders you carry it on to balance out the weight. Keep scrolling for the five point test which will help guide you in your quest to sit up straight and make neck and back pain a thing of the past.
The five-point test to assess your posture
Nose to chest: Look at the line from the tip of your nose to the chin, stopping at your chest. Check to see if your head is rotating or leaning to one side after you “draw” the imaginary line as a reference point.
Shoulders: Look at both shoulders to check that they are level, or if they are in line if you drew an imaginary line from one shoulder to the other.
Arms: Check that both arms are equal in length and that the spacing between your arms and your body is equal as they hang at your side.
Knees: Look at your knees to see if they look level to one another. Also check if they turn out or are hyperextended.
Pelvis: Everyone’s pelvis has a natural tilt, around 15 degrees is ideal. Check to see if your pelvis is tilted inward or outward at all, which could be a sign of a potential imbalance.