against the back of your chair and keeping your feet planted on the ground. If you have to look up or down to see your computer screen, adjust it until it’s in the center of your field of vision. Try an exercise. Simple exercises can loosen the tension in your back and shoulders that causes bad posture. Do some shoulder rolls or extend your arms out to the sides and rotate your wrists to encourage a straight, relaxed back. Take photos. Have a trusted friend take a photo of you standing comfortably (and be honest!). Think you’ve got good posture? Here’s an idea: • Stand in bare feet with what you consider to be your very best posture in front of a clean wall. • Recruit a friend to take four pictures of you: front, back, and both sides. • Print the pictures out, one to a sheet. • Put dots on the pictures like this: front side— between your feet and on your nose; backside—between your feet and shoulder blades; side views—on your ankle bone and ear. • Fold each paper in half along those dots. • Analyze your photos: are the two halves of your
body the same? Do you lean forward or backward or to one side? Does your head jut forward like a turtle? Does your pelvis tilt forward or back? • Make note of your imbalances and adjust your stance so your body is more in line—head over neck over torso over pelvis over legs. Work on balance. Posture has a lot to do with balance. Stand in a doorway. Adjust your posture. Then raise one leg, bending at the knee so that your thigh is parallel to the floor. Hold that position for 20 seconds. Repeat on the other side. Do not flail your arms or twist and splay your body in an effort to stay balanced. If you feel that you cannot hold the pose then reach out to the doorway to steady yourself. Over time you’ll be able to hold the pose without gripping the wall. Work on alignment. Put your heels against the wall, and then step out about the length of your foot away from the wall. Now lean back until your buttocks and back touch the wall. Push your head Continued on page 20
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The May 2014 issue of An Apple a Day magazine.