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My 8 Top Products For Better Posture
(That Every Serious Blogger Needs)
We live in the age of the computer, and it shows in our posture.
I was very young when the desktop computer started showing up in houses, when the Internet started to go mainstream. One of my favorite stories my grandma loves to tell happened when I was maybe four or five years old. She was babysitting me, and I wanted to play my Barbie game on the computer.
Problem was, Grandma didn’t know how to navigate the computer, let alone how to turn the thing on. But see, I REALLY wanted to play my Barbie game, so I told her to pick me up and put me on the desk. I turned the monitor on (we’re talking one of those massive gray beasts from Dell), and then went down below to put the CD in the drive.
And little four-or-five year old Kathryn got to play her game while Grandma “supervised” and dreamed of better days of the good ole typewriter.
Okay, not really.
A couple decades later, Grandma learned how to send an email and write a letter in MS Word, and even has gotten the hang of the Google. Though, she did keep the typewriter until it broke down and there was no one left to repair it. It was super cool, even if my little brain from when I was a kid couldn’t understand why there was no backspace functionality.
I’ve been using a computer since I was at least four years old, and as you all know, my day job sits me behind a desk for most of the day. It really shows in my posture. Sure, some of my slumping has to do with actual physical issues I’m in treatment for, but half the battle is making the effort to sit up straight.
But I will say, ever since I really started working on my posture, people have asked me if I’ve gotten taller. I have barely been five-foot-one-if-I’m-not-slouching since I stopped growing, so it’s kind of wild what good posture can really do for you.
As bloggers and side hustlers, we spend a TON of time on our computers. So, read on for my six recommendations on how to maintain your posture while working hard on your hustle.
*Please note, I am NOT a medical professional, these are merely recommendations based on products that have helped me*
Better Posture: The Health Benefits
First things first: why is good posture so important?
According to Harvard Medical School, good posture is the key to having good balance. You need to have good balance for everything. Walking around the block, sitting down or standing up and even turning to look behind you, that’s ALL balance.
When sitting down, Harvard recommends keeping your chin parallel to the floor, your shoulders, hips, and knees at even heights, and your knees and feet should be pointing straight ahead.
Sounds simple, but it is something you have to consciously be aware of and working on, even when doing all the million other things you have to do when you’re sitting in front of a computer.
From a mindset standpoint, standing up straight leads to an immediate confidence boost. Coaches everywhere talk about standing tall and shouting to the rooftops that you!can!do!anything! Not to mention, you’ll totally look taller too!
And sure, there’s the aesthetic benefits too. Magazines everywhere preach their “cheats to look five pounds thinner”, and option one is ALWAYS, stand up straight. Of course, true weight loss also includes a healthy diet and regular exercise. Just like consistent blogging leads to success, consistent exercise—whatever it is you choose to do—leads to better posture.
Products For Better Posture: A Balance Disc
I am a HUGE fan of my balance disc. All it is, is a rounded seat cushion filled with air that you sit on, and it encourages you to engage your core while you sit at your desk. While most people just want a flat stomach, engaging your core is important for posture, because those muscles in your core and your lower back heavily influence how straight you stand or sit.
For bloggers and side hustlers, having something to actively work your core while you’re working at your computer is incredibly important. We all know that sitting down for long periods isn’t healthy, but a balance disc at least gives you a little bit of a workout while you work.
Products For Better Posture: Stability Ball
Stability balls are awesome!
Think of them as a step up from a balance disc, since they replace the chair you sit on completely. Also known as an exercise ball (yeah, like that one you use to work out at the gym), they help improve core strength. As mentioned above, core strength is critical for good posture.
Good posture, in fact, can decrease discomfort, especially when you’re sitting down. Stability balls have grown in popularity in the non-gym space in recent years, because they keep its users active, even when sitting down. They encourage users to actively engage their core (see: sit up straight) giving a critical posture boost.
A good stability ball it tough, not flimsy, and is properly inflated. Also, when looking for a stability ball, make sure it is the proper size for your height. If you’re under 4 feet 10 inches tall, guidelines recommend a 30 to 35 centimeter ball. For people 4 feet 11 inches to 5 feet five inches all, guidelines recommend a 45 centimeter ball. And if you are 5 feet 6 inches to 6 feet tall, guidelines recommend a 55 centimeter ball. It’s important to keep in mind that you may need a taller ball if you plan to use one with your desk, so you can reach everything you need.
Products For Better Posture: Yoga Ball Chair
When seated on a yoga ball chair (or even just the stability ball like the point above), your muscles are actively making small micro movements to keep you balance. It may not feel like much, but it IS a little bit of a workout. Not only that, but if you’re the type of person who focuses best by moving (I’m one of those), then this is really for you. You’re going to be moving a LOT.
This yoga ball chair from Gaiam comes in a ton of colors (I have my eye on the purple one). Another, similar option is this one from LuxFit. For an extra balance boost, you can pick up this one, also from Gaiam, which doesn’t have the chair back feature that the first one does.
Products For Better Posture: Back Cushion
Do you spend a lot of time in the car? I’ve been known to go on a road trip or two in my time, and I am a HUGE fan of the BackJoy Posture Plus back cushion. I called ours “The Butt”. When I moved out to Alabama after I graduated college, the back cushion was 100% my saving grace going from Los Angeles to Birmingham in three days. There’s a reason why these things have racked up nearly 800 reviews on Amazon.
All it is, is a seat you put on your seat, and it helps encourage you to sit up and forward, even when you’re driving for long periods. It’s also great if you suffer from sciatica. The first time I used it really made me away of just how much I slump when I’m driving.
Products For Better Posture: Posture Corrector
Since I know I slouch the MOST when I work as a statistician for some local volleyball teams, I never work a match without bringing my posture corrector along. It’s much smaller than a full back-on brace (and I have one of those too). It may make my shirts look kind of weird, but I’m way beyond the point where I care about that. All that matters is I don’t slouch anymore.
My posture corrector keeps me sitting up and forward the entire time I’m scoring a match (More on what that means in this post, especially tournaments. Want to know what volleyball can teach you about blogging? Check that post out here). I have noticed a huge difference in my posture and more stability in my lower back while wearing my posture corrector, even if it looks a little funny.
Looking for a discrete posture corrector that you can even wear under your clothes? Try this one, from VIBO Care. I like it because it gently pulls the shoulders back without getting too much in the way or looking too ridiculous. All it really does is look like a backpack without the…pack. This is another great, similar option from Truweo. You may feel some pinching in the shoulders the first few times you use your posture corrector, but that’s all part of breaking it in. At first, I couldn’t go more than an hour or two wearing mine, but now I can wear it all day, no discomfort.
Products For Better Posture: A Standing Desk
For sure, this is a pricer option, but I am a HUGE fan of the concept of standing desks. Studies show that not only is your posture better when you’re standing, but you’re also MUCH more productive. I know for a fact that when I’m working on my computer standing up, my posture is MUCH better than when I’m sitting on my couch. VARIDESK is one of the most popular and well-known standing desks brands, and they come with all the bells and whistles.
Looking for something more simple? Amazon has options for half the prices of a VARIDESK, like this one by Stand Steady. You can even find cardboard versions at a fraction of the price of a VARIDESK, like the Spark by Ergodriven or the Cardboard Standing Desk by Paper Maker.
Want to cobble together your own for much, much less? I have a console accent table that was originally for decor purposes that I use as the base of mine. It was supposed to be the thing where I would throw my keys and mail when I walked in the door after work. Nowadays, I still throw my mail on it, but I also do most of my work on it.
All I did to turn a console table into a standing desk was put my old high school year books in a pile with a shoe box full of the credentials I picked up durning my decade working in college sports, and a ream of paper. It’s not the prettiest, but it keeps me on my feet. It also keeps the pressure off my wrists – which I hope means lessening my risk for carpal tunnel.
And studies ALSO show that the less you sit, the healthier you are.
Products For Better Posture: Yoga
Who would I be if I didn’t offer you a free option?
Yoga is GREAT for posture.
I am a huge fan of Yoga With Adriene, a channel on YouTube with hours and hours and hours of FREE content. Adriene, a yoga instructor and actor based in Austin, Texas, has videos for every length and type of yoga, even break-it-down-to-basics instructional videos for fundamental postures. Adriene’s videos are fantastic for ALL levels. In the last few years she has kicked off January with an amazing 30-day challenge. It’s really for everyone.
Adriene’s channel has almost four million subscribers, and over 400 videos. It is my go-to for yoga. The best part is that you can do this from anywhere, not just a yoga class. All you need is a yoga mat, but even that you don’t REALLY need, because a towel works just as well.
My goal is to one day soon complete each of the 30-day challenges in order, and really turn yoga into a permanent part of my daily routine. And not only does yoga have great posture benefits, but it’s low impact, helps build muscles, and an amazing introduction to meditation. Meditation is great for bloggers, because it helps you clear your mind and all that clutter that keeps you from getting your side hustle to-do list done. One of my favorite yoga for meditation videos by Adriene is Yoga For Healing and Meditation from her 30 Days of Yoga series from 2015. I have done and loved every video from that 30-day challenge. It’s a great place for yoga newbies to start.
You can learn more about Adriene on her website, YogaWithAdriene.com.
What do you do to maintain your posture while working on your side hustle? Leave a comment below and let me know.
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