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Get It Straight and Take the Brugger Break!

, July 10, 2014

“Get it straight!”  Most of us have been admonished at some point in our lives by a parent or a teacher to sit or stand up straight. It turns out that was great advice. How we carry ourselves not only announces to the world whether we are delighted or defeated, but it also contributes to how we are feeling physically and mentally.

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 9.17.29 AMHere are some talking points I have used with patients to offer a gentle reminder of the importance of posture:

  • Regular exercise helps keep muscles bilaterally strong and provides more balance to the spine, making good posture easier.
  • Keep the rearview mirror adjusted for your best posture to enable sitting up straight in the car.
  • Try a good low back support in a chair, which will help bring your shoulders back and reduce the urge to slouch.
  • Stand-up desks are popular to improve posture and reduce strain on the back.
  • I have had many patients tell me that when they improve their posture on a daily basis, they are more productive and experience relief from pain and even chronic tension headaches.
  • Your backbones are working hard by carrying all of your body weight. Did you know they’re relying on your good posture to stay strong?
  • I notice your posture is a little slouched, which I call “hanging on your ligaments.” The backbones, not the muscles and ligaments, are designed to carry your weight and reduce stress and strain. Let me show you the difference…
  • You’re not the first patient to ask me how to keep from becoming hunched over as you age! An important key is to exercise and actively practice good posture every day.
  • Many of my patients have simply fallen into the habit of slouching. Good posture may feel exaggerated at first, but once it begins to take hold as a habit, you will likely start to feel better physically and mentally.

I have also found it helpful to offer patients very specific suggestions for breaking the slouching habit while standing, sitting, texting and driving, often encouraging them to take a “Brugger Break” for 10-15 seconds several times each hour. Patients find Brugger Exercise easy to adopt and a number of them have reported back that they were able to improve their posture — and their outlook — in very short order. 


Source: WSJ: How Bad Sitting Posture at Work Leads to Bad Standing Posture All the Time