Do you suffer from poor posture?
Unfortunately, our modern lifestyle with all its conveniences can be tough on our posture. Basically, sitting down and looking at a computer all day is not good.
If you have poor posture the good news is that you can fix it, the bad news is that it takes time and effort.
But how long does it take to correct posture?
Well, the short answer is that it really depends on the specific circumstances, but down below you will find a more useful answer.
Some Common Types Of Poor Posture
Here are 4 common types of poor posture.
Perhaps you can recognize yourself in one or more.
#1 Forward head posture
Makes you look like Mr. Burns from The Simpsons. Usually, the time spent looking at a smartphone or computer is the major culprit. This excess flexion creates stress on your spine and it can even make you appear smaller.
#2 Forward rounded shoulders
Doesn’t do anything for your looks either and it can potentially make you feel less confident and in more serious cases affect your breathing.
#3 Hunched posture or hunchback posture
Think the less attractive Quasimodo posture.
Probably just a combination of the two above.
#4 Tight hip flexors (Anterior Pelvic Tilt)
All the time spend sitting makes the pelvis tilt forward resulting in a protruding belly and a butt tucking upwards. Not pretty at all and can also make you appear fatter than you are.
By the way, there is a very popular exercise routine for fixing tight hip flexors. It has helped A LOT of people and I have tried it myself. I wrote a review you can check out here.
While I have listed all these poor postures individually, they are regrettably often seen in combination.
The Importance Of Good Posture
As you can see in the examples above, poor posture makes you look less attractive.
Likely this is the biggest reason why most people want to improve 🙂
However, poor posture can also do a lot of other bad things to your body and it can potentially influence how you feel.
For example, if you work on getting a more upright posture with an open chest then you might end up feel more positive and confident.
And we all want to be confident right?
People also respond to your posture both consciously and subconsciously.
If you are getting good non-verbal feedback from others it is going to reinforce your confidence.
Additionally, poor posture hinders range of motion, movement patterns and potentially creates unnecessary stress on your joints and muscles.
If you do weight training (which I can strongly recommend) you could be negatively affecting your max strength while also increasing the risk of injury.
So if you want to stay free of injuries, feel great both mentally and physically now and when you are much older, then you simply need good posture!
Right now it might feel comfortable to slouch, but if you continue doing so you will feel the consequences someday.
If you want to read more about the benefits of good posture, then you might find this article I wrote for bigbluewaves.net interesting.
You can also read what the American Chiropractor Association has to say about posture.
Realistic Expectations ?
As mentioned in the beginning, how long it takes to correct your posture obviously depends on the severity of your problem and for how long you have had it.
It would also depend on how long you spend every day in a position that reinforces that specific poor posture and how much effort you are putting into fixing that.
This could be either by reducing how much time you spend in a bad position or if you do various exercises to counteract it.
It really could take anywhere from a few weeks to many months of work before you have “fixed your posture”.
However, with some good effort, you will likely notice a positive difference within 1-2 weeks.
One way to think about your posture is that it is a reflection of the position you spend the most time in – your postural habits.
Another way to look at it is that posture is not really something you fix but rather something you maintain.
You won’t be able to just “fix your posture” and then afterward go back to how it was before. Then you will just develop bad posture again.
So for a real long-term solution, you also have to think about your postural habits and the ergonomics of your surroundings.
Basically, you have to be much more conscious about your posture and be more thoughtful and reflect upon how you go about using/doing things like mobile devices, computers, reading, watching television etc.
How To Fix It
There are many things you can do to improve your posture and you probably should be doing several of those.
There is not going “one thing” that you can do which will fix your problem because there is not just one reason why you have developed poor posture.
But you also need to do various exercises to strengthen and stretch different muscles.
As hinted to above, you also need to increase your “posture awareness” and look at the ergonomics of your surroundings.
Maybe you can adjust how you use your smartphone or the setup at your desk.
Think about positioning the screen at about eye height while sitting more upright with shoulder back and down.
Another thing that is often overlooked is how we sleep. We spend a whole lot of time everyday sleeping and to use that time efficiently you want to think about your sleeping posture.
Doing a few tweaks and ensuring you got a decent mattress and pillow can have a big impact.
A Quick Exercise To Do At Home
A quick exercise I can recommend you right now is external shoulder rotation with a resistance band.
If you have a resistance band at home, you can easily do them every day as they are super fast to do.
The trick is to use a light resistance band and do a lot of reps because the relevant muscles (rhomboids) respond much better to this kind of stimulus.
I didn’t realize this before and I have done a lot of heavier reps for this muscle without much result.
After I decresed the resistance, increased the reps and frequency this has changed.
Watch this video by Jeff form AthleanX where he shows how to do it.
The Bottom Line
How long it takes to correct your posture depends on the specific circumstances. But you might be missing the point with this line of thinking.
A good posture is something you need to maintain your whole life and not something that you just fix and forget about it.
But please know that I am very impatient myself, so I can understand completely.
If you are ambitious about getting fast results, then I would recommend you take a look at some products to help you out.