The posture test: How to check your standing posture

Mother trying the posture test on her daughter against a wall at home

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Do you often feel tired or achy after standing or sitting for long periods? If so, your posture might be to blame. Poor posture can lead to many problems, including back pain, neck pain, and fatigue. 

The posture test is an essential part of every fitness routine. It helps to improve your well-being and prevent injuries.

When you have good posture, you look and feel more confident.

In this blog post, we will discuss the wall test, a simple way to check your standing posture and see if there is room for improvement.

A healthy back has 3 natural curves

A healthy back has three natural curves:

  1. The cervical curve in your neck.
  2. The thoracic curve in your upper back.
  3. The lumbar curve in your lower back.

When you are standing, all three of these curves should be present. To check your posture, stand with your back against a wall and follow these steps:

The wall test for posture in 5 easy steps

  1. Stand with your back flat against a wall to take the wall test.
  2. Position your body so your head, shoulder blades and buttocks touch the wall.
  3. Your heels should be about 5 to 10 centimetres from the baseboard.
  4. Then, try to slide your hand between the small of your back and the wall.
  5. If you can do this easily, your posture is good. If not, you can do a few things to improve it.

3 Minor adjustments to enhance your wall test result

  1. First, check to see that your shoulders align with your hips. You might need to adjust your stance until they are.
  2. Second, ensure you are not holding any tension in your body. Relax your shoulders and let your arms hang naturally at your sides.
  3. Finally, tuck in your chin so that it is parallel to the floor.

Once you have made these adjustments, try the wall test again; if you can still slide your hand between your back and the wall, great! If not, keep working on it. With a bit of practice, you should be able to improve your posture and stand tall with ease.

Long-term strategies to improve your posture

One of the best ways to improve your posture is to strengthen your core muscles. The muscles in your abdomen and lower back help support your spine. Strengthening these muscles will help you stand taller and improve your posture.

Another good strategy is to focus on your breathing. When you take deep, diaphragmatic breaths, it helps to lengthen and straighten your spine. Deep breathing can also help reduce body tension and improve your overall posture.

Finally, be mindful of how you sit, stand, and move throughout the day. Please pay attention to your posture and make an effort to correct it when necessary. With time and practice, good posture will become second nature.

7 tips for good standing posture

Good standing posture helps you avoid pain and injuries, improves your breathing and makes you look more confident. Here are seven tips for good posture:

  1. When standing, keep your feet shoulder-width apart and place most of your weight on the balls of your feet.
  2. Tighten your abdominal muscles and keep your shoulders down and back.
  3. Stand up straight and keep your head level, looking forward.
  4. Avoid locking your knees.
  5. Tuck in your chin so that it is parallel to the floor.
  6. Balance your weight evenly on both feet.
  7. Point your toes straight ahead.

If you must stand for long periods, rest one foot on a low stool or box and shift your weight from one foot to the other occasionally.

7 tips to improve your sitting posture

If you spend a lot of time sitting, it is essential to have a good sitting posture. Poor sitting posture can lead to back pain, neck pain, and other problems.

To improve your sitting posture, follow these tips:

  1. Sit up straight and keep your back against the chair.
  2. Your knees should be at a 90-degree angle, and your feet should be flat on the floor.
  3. Use a footrest if you can’t reach the floor with your feet.
  4. Don’t cross your legs.
  5. Keep your shoulders down and relaxed.
  6. Avoid slouching or leaning to one side.
  7. Take frequent breaks to move around and stretch if you can.

We have an in-depth article on sitting posture, ergonomics and office chairs suitable for good posture if you’d like more detail.

Avoid bending your neck to look down at your phone

Looking down at your phone for long periods can cause neck pain and other health problems. To avoid this, hold your phone at eye level when using it. If you must look down at your phone, do so with your whole body instead of just your neck.

Posture testing for athletes

Good posture is essential for athletes, as it helps them avoid pain and injuries, improves their breathing and makes them look more confident.
Postural deviations may result from muscle imbalances, poor training habits, or previous injuries.

Athletes can use a few different posture tests to check their alignment and make any necessary adjustments.

The wall test discussed at the beginning of the article is one of the most common tests for athletes. Another standard posture test is the mirror test. For this test, stand in front of a mirror and check if your ears, shoulders, hips, and ankles are aligned.

The posture assessment grid for athletes

The posture assessment grid (or similar wall with grid markings) test is a more thorough approach.

The posture assessment grid is a test that helps identify any imbalances in your body. It is a more thorough approach than the mirror test.

For this test, you stand in front of a mirror, with a grid marked on the wall behind you, and check to see if your ears, shoulders, hips, and ankles are aligned.

The grid marking makes it easier to see any imbalances in your posture.

Athletes can also use the posture assessment grid to test for different body areas and identify imbalances.

Once posture deviations have been identified, athletes can correct them with specific exercises and stretches. If you are an athlete with poor posture, please consult a qualified strength and conditioning coach to help fix your imbalances.

Practice good posture all the time

Maintaining good posture is essential for everyone, not just athletes. Poor posture can lead to back pain, neck pain, and other health problems. To avoid these problems, practise good posture all the time.

There are a few simple things you can do to improve your posture. 

First, take the wall test at home to check your posture.

Second, sit and stand up straight and don’t slouch. 

Third, use a footrest if you can’t reach the floor with your feet.

Finally, take frequent breaks to move around and stretch if you can.

Following these tips will improve your posture and reduce your risk of pain and injury.

Thanks for reading!

Do you have any tips for improving posture? Let us know in the comments below.

And don’t forget to share this article with your friends to help them improve their posture too!

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