So…What to Look for in a Posture Corrector
As you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance your shoulders are a bit hunched over, your lower back rounded, and your core muscles are anything but engaged.
If this sounds familiar, don’t worry. You’re not alone.
While you probably know that sitting up tall or standing with your shoulders pulled back and core engaged is how your posture should be, sometimes our body doesn’t always respond to what our mind tells us to do.
The good news? You can train yourself to adopt proper posture by adding strengthening exercises to your routine.
You can also cue yourself throughout the day with posture correctors. These devices can remind you of how you’re positioning your body.
Why good posture matters
You’ve likely heard about the many benefits of having good posture. Not only does it allow you to develop strength in the areas of your body that experience the most chronic pain (aka your lower back), it also helps reduce the tightness in your neck, shoulders, and upper back.
But did you know good posture can also:
Yes, practicing and maintaining good posture contributes to your overall well-being and ease of performing daily activities.
Most of us understand the importance of good posture, but there are times when we forget to cue ourselves to sit up straight or maintain a neutral spine.
To help with this, many people find relief with a posture corrector.
What to look for in a posture corrector
Typing “posture corrector” in an online search bar will return pages of options. This is good news if you know what you’re looking for. Otherwise, it can feel overwhelming.
When determining which posture corrector is right for you, here are a few things to consider.
Encourages muscle activation
There are definitely benefits to bracing with the right support. However, bracing in general is a double-edged sword.
“If you’re constantly supporting the spine in a certain position, it can make the muscles in the spine atrophy and become lazy,” says Dr. Amir Vokshoor, spinal neurosurgeon and chief of spine at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California, and founder of NeuroVella Brain Spa.
With that in mind, the goal of a posture corrector should be to activate the muscles. That’s why he recommends a soft brace: It reminds the body, and our postural muscles, of the optimal place to be.
Narrowing your search to posture correctors that focus on key areas can increase a product’s effectiveness. Vokshoor says the areas of posture that are most important are the:
No matter how effective a posture corrector may be, Vokshoor says, if it’s too uncomfortable, people will struggle to wear it. And if people don’t wear it, the efficacy factor becomes irrelevant.
“I find that the most comfortable ones are also the most effective, as are the softer ones, since they tend to keep the muscles activated and prevent atrophy,” he says.
Ease of use
Vokshoor recommends posture correctors that provide support but are easily self-adjusting so people don’t have to rely on having another person around to help them put it on, take it off, and adjust the tension.
Being able to wear a posture correct under or over clothes is also a key feature when choosing the right one for you.
Area of support
Posture correctors come in a variety of styles that support your neck, lower back, or your entire upper body. Make sure you choose a product that fits your needs and targets the area you need the most support.
Exercises you can do to improve your posture
In addition to wearing a posture corrector while at work, traveling, or doing other daily activities, you can perform exercises to strengthen the muscles that support your posture.
If you’re not sure where to start, consider trying yoga, pilates, and core strengthening exercises. Here are some posture-specific exercises to incorporate into your overall fitness routine.
Maintaining proper posture throughout the day is key to preventing injuries, reducing neck and back strain, and reducing headaches.
Wearing a posture corrector a few hours a day and including posture-specific exercises in your workouts can help you train and strengthen the muscles that support your spine.
Maintaining better posture can improve your overall well-being.