Prolonged sitting can wreak havoc on your posture, whether you’re sitting at a desk, in front of a screen, knitting, or any number of forward-leaning activities.

Unfortunately, a quick shrug or stretch every once in a while isn’t enough to offset the damage caused by sitting down for extended periods of time. To maintain good posture, you need to strengthen the muscles that hold your shoulders and spine in the right position.

And that’s what today’s challenge is designed to do. It’s called the Workday Posture Straightener because you can easily do it during the day anywhere you happen to be, as many times a day as you like, to counteract the effects of your desk job (or whatever forward-leaning activity you might engage in).

Why:

Many daily activities involve sitting for long periods, and more often than not, we tend to lean forward without even realizing, which can make the shoulders and upper back feel stiff and even achy during the day. We try to “undo” the postural damage by stretching a moment before returning to our activity. But proper posture that promotes spinal alignment and vertebral density requires more than that.

When shoulders are rounded from leaning forward for long periods, crucial postural muscles can weaken and stretch, making it harder to correct posture. For that reason, exercises that strengthen these muscles are essential.

If you’re new to this site or are not familiar with the Osteoporosis Reversal Program yet, you may be wondering why I’m discussing posture. While not present in all osteoporosis diagnoses, the dreaded Dowager’s Hump, or kyphosis, is associated with low bone density.

Proper posture helps strengthen and align the bones of the upper back and shoulders, building bone strength as well as promoting correct positioning.

Why Posture Matters

There are other compelling reasons why posture matters. For example, chronically poor posture can result in painful nerve inflammation such as sciatica and carpal tunnel syndrome. Headaches, neck pain, and back pain can also result from poor posture, which puts strain on muscles, ligaments, and joints.

Also, posture matters with regard to balance. Poor posture throws your body off balance, increasing your susceptibility to falls that could result in a broken bone. But correct posture aligns your skeleton, and postural exercises strengthen muscles that will help you stay upright.

How Posture Affects The Vertebrae

While posture influences your entire skeleton, the vertebrae deserve special mention with regard to this topic. Specifically, the vertebrae in the neck suffer significantly when posture is poor, and here’s why.

Many activities, such as texting, driving, typing, and even knitting involve leaning forward and down. Known as forward head posture (FHP), this postural habit puts tremendous pressure on the discs between the cervical vertebrae. Correct posture puts about 12 pounds of pressure on the discs (that’s a little more than the weight of the average human head). FHP increases the pressure three times, resulting in 36 pounds of pressure on the discs. This sets the stage for disc degeneration, bulging discs, and inflammation.

FHP causes the muscles at the base of the neck to strain and compress, which can give rise to headaches that radiate up the back of the head and into the forehead and eye area. The muscles may spasm, becoming hard and knot-like, and can be tender to pressure.

So as you can see, correcting and maintaining good posture is a very important weapon in your fight against low bone density.

How:

No equipment is necessary to perform this exercise; you don’t even need much space! Feel free to do this exercise multiple times throughout the day.

  1. Stand straight and tall with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Don’t force your posture forward by throwing out your chest – think “up” rather than “out.”
  2. Hold your arms straight down at your sides with your palms facing back.
  3. Keeping your elbows straight, push your arms back as far as you can.
  4. Bring your arms back to the starting position and repeat about 10 times, rest, and do another set of 10 (always working within your comfort level of course).

Tips:

  • Don’t lean forward as you reach your arms back; your torso should remain as still as possible.
  • Move deliberately, using the muscles in your upper back and arms. Don’t just swing your arms back and forth.

Improving Your Posture Doesn’t Have To Be Time-Consuming

One of the great things about this exercise is that it doesn’t take a lot of time or even floor space. You don’t need hours of workout time to tone and strengthen postural muscles; you can do a very effective workout in minutes.

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Densercise™, designed to build and rejuvenate your bones, also contains many postural exercises, and only takes 15 minutes a day, three times a week. Like today’s challenge, it’s easy to weave the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System into your daily routine. It doesn’t require special equipment or expensive specialty items, and the convenient digital format means you can get started right away.

Enjoy the weekend, and if you live in the U.S.A., have a great Independence Day holiday!

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  1. Blanche

    I have been sending away for Algaecal calcium. I have reasons to believe there is a better organic calcium. Any suggestions?

  2. Erlinda Siatqn

    Thank you so much . It is so easy and not time consuming.

  3. Betty

    Thank you for all these helpful emails and I will try this one. I have been sitting a lot over these past few days!

  4. Veronica Banghart

    I purchased the basic Save Our Bones on-line on May 24. The payment went through my bank on May 25th but I have not yet received my books. Is this normal? I’ve contacted the website at the “contact us” address but received no answer. I hope you will respond to this message as I would really like to start the program in earnest. Sincerely, Veronica B.

  5. Marlyn Pruder

    I AM INTERESTED IN THE BONE HEALTH SOUP RECIPE PLEASE. THANK YOU

  6. Marlyn Pruder

    PLEA CAN YOU SEND ME THE BONE SOUP RECIPE. THANK YOU.

  7. Nora Daulton

    Thanks for your week-end articles. I print them off to read later because I can’t read the words on the printer, my eyes are weak. I am 84 years old . I do believe your program is helping my health and I recently learned about Bone Soup and I am cooking that up too. The reason I am concerned about my health, I want to be able to take care of myself and not be bedridden for years before I die

  8. Joan

    Thank you for this Simple exercises.
    I have tried other exercises that my P.T. gave me, but it does not work I think!

    I sit at the computer Too Much, and now I notice my neck goes forward, and my posture is awful, so is my husbands..
    I have a strange nerve damage from my posture that Drs. cannot figure out! Hope this does the trick to relieve it.

    We are going to give this a try 🙂

    Take Care..

  9. Corinne

    My rt leg had 2 surgeries/90days IV antibiotic for bone infection & no weight bearing, so any exercise I can do to stretch & strengthen like the ones you offer is awesome!

  10. Ita

    Thank you, Ita.

  11. Elaine Suttles

    Thank you for this exercise. I’m starting it today!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You are welcome, Elaine! This exercise is easy to start right away.

  12. Carol

    Thank you Vivian for this exercise. I love that it’s easy enough for me to do several times throughout the day.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      I like that about this move, too, Carol!

  13. Eileen A

    I have a vibration plate exercise machine. Is this a good exercise for the back? Thanks.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Eileen,

      There is quite a bit of controversy surrounding vibrating plates. For example, people with spinal injuries, such as slipped discs or pinched nerves may increase damage by using the machine. I have not researched it in great detail because there are so many other ways to increase density without the added expense of this equipment.

  14. Babs Robertson

    I do sit alot due to my painful leg that has a rod in it but i do use a V cushion does this help atall, Thanks for your advice.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      That’s understandable, Babs – sometimes we have health conditions that result in a lot of sitting as well. Do you have a physical therapist who can discuss some appropriate exercises with you? It would be great if you could work some sort of daily activity in. 🙂

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