Poor posture: The daily habits that are doing more harm than good
Author: Jonathan Warren
In a recent study, mattress specialist Time4Sleep revealed that waking up with back and neck pain is a normal occurrence for a worryingly high percentage of Brits, with a staggering 70% reporting that they have woken up before with back pain and a 67% with neck pain.
This may come as little surprise with 20% of Brits admitting that they have NEVER changed their mattress.
So which of our daily habits are unknowingly doing more harm than good? It’s time we wake up to the impact of poor posture.
Dr Frankie Jackson-Spence, resident doctor at Time4Sleep said: “Our posture can unknowingly be negatively affected by lots of our daily habits. Some big culprits include using our phones for everything, with many of us racking up our screen time to often 7 hours plus a day. Working from home without the proper equipment and not thinking enough about our sleep posture and quality of our mattress are also daily habits that need addressing. Remember we spend 6-9 hours in bed every day so your posture during this time matters!”
One of the daily habits that can have a significant impact on our posture is sleep and Brits agree. Over a third of people think that a poor sleep position is the most damaging activity for our posture, closely followed by sleeping on an old mattress (32%) - so what can we do?
Dr Frankie advises: “To improve your posture when asleep, choose a mattress that is the right firmness so you wake up feeling rested and firm enough to support the natural curves in your spine.
“You should also consider changing your mattress every 7-10 years to ensure it remains comfortable and supportive.
“The pillow for your head should also support the natural curve in your C spine, keeping your head aligned with your chest and lower back. This is important as a pillow that is too high can strain your neck.”
Time4Sleep’s top tips for spotting a mattress that needs replacing
If your mattress has reached the 7-10 year threshold or longer and you’re questioning an upgrade, keep the tips below in mind:
1. Listen out for squeaks and creaks - If your mattress is quite literally crying out for help, consider replacing it.
2. Spikey springs? If you can see a dip in your mattress or if you can feel the springs when you’re about to nod off, this is a definite sign of an ageing mattress and it won’t be doing your posture any favours either.
3. Tune in to your health - Mattresses can harbour a lot of dust, dead skin and oils from our hair and body which in some cases can trigger allergies. If you find yourself sniffling as you settle down to sleep or wake up for the day, consider your mattress as a possible trigger!
Find more information on how often you should change your mattress here.
On perfecting your sleep posture, Dr Frankie explains: “The ideal sleep posture is to sleep on your back because it evenly distributes your weight and avoids unnatural curving of your spine, but if you’re not used to this you may find it uncomfortable to start with.
“A great way to get used to this change in sleep posture would be to use pillows to support the natural curvature of the spine, for example, a pillow under your head to keep it in line with your chest and lower back, you can also put a pillow under your knees.”
To encourage people to think twice about their posture whilst going about their daily life, Time4Sleep created Polly. The CGI character displays exaggerated side effects of continued poor posture daily habits over a 20 to 30 year period, informed by insight provided by Ivana Daniell, Body and Posture expert.
To make sure we’re practising perfect posture habits when it comes to working from a desk and using our mobile phones, as well as sleeping, take a look at the expert top tips below to ensure that Polly doesn’t become a reality for you…
With devices at eye level, a new mattress to support your spine and a chair to keep your hips at the optimum angle, you can be on your way to making sure that your posture is no longer a second thought during these daily habits. Have you changed your posture whilst reading this?
Browse Time4Sleep’s range of mattresses to find the perfect match for you.