When you don't use your body correctly, things go wrong. Bad posture is a classic example of this – slouching puts a strain on your spine, and it becomes a vicious circle as your body tries to adapt.

Get it right though, and you will look instantly taller, slimmer and younger. Here's how to correct bad posture…


* Carry your life in your handbag.

It's not hard to see why a huge, heavy handbag can be a posture killer especially when it's always worn over the same shoulder. Loading all the weight on one side throws off your normal gait and interferes with your posture. Choose a smaller, lighter bag with a wide strap, don't overfill, swap shoulders regularly and, ideally, carry heavy stuff in a rucksack.

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* Wear killer heels all day.

High heels shift your centre of gravity forward which, in turn, alters your posture and your gait. Alternate different shoes and heel heights.  

*Balance your 'phone between your ear and shoulder.

It strains your neck, back and shoulder muscles and, over time, can lead to imbalances between the right and left sides of your neck. Use a hands free device or hold the phone with your hand. 

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*Use your laptop on your lap.

The impact is similar to constantly bending over your phone to text leading to a rounded upper back and stiff shoulder, neck and back muscles. 


* Stand up and walk around.

If you're deskbound during the day don't sit for more than 30 minutes at a time. When you sit too much your hamstring and hip flexor muscles become tight and the muscles supporting your spine become weaker.

* Bring your phone up to eye level when texting rather than bending down towards it.

* Make sure your laptop or computer screen is at the right height.

Always try to position your laptop on a table or desk so that you can use it without bending your head or neck. Your eyes should be level with the top of the screen and ideally use a plug in keyboard and mouse. Adjust your seat so your feet are flat on the ground, your knees bent with a slope from your hips to your knees and your hips higher than your knees.


Your one minute posture improver

All you need is a wall, says physiotherapist Sammy Margo...

1) Stand with your back to the wall and stand tall with your heels, buttocks, shoulders and head to the wall.

2) Hold the position for 10 seconds

3) Step away as if the wall were still behind you. Your body will have the memory and sensation of the wall behind you.


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