5 Daily Posture Exercises for Seniors

Reviewed and Updated by Troy Frink,

According to Harvard Medical School, America has a posture problem. It may be from looking at your smartphone or sitting on your couch for long periods of time. No matter what the cause is, poor posture affects people of all ages. 

Why is good posture so important? As we age, poor posture can lead to back pain, spinal dysfunction, and joint degeneration. Luckily, you may be able to curb some of that damage by practicing good habits and doing these five daily posture exercises for seniors.

How to Improve Posture With Posture Exercises for Seniors

It doesn’t matter when you do these exercises, whether it’s when you first wake up, after you eat lunch, or right before you go to bed. The important thing is that you’re consistent and you do them every day. 

1. Spine Extensions

Spine extensions help correct poor posture by putting the spine in a neutral position with the shoulders and chin back. This exercise helps with chest flexibility, which improves breathing and lung function. 

To do the exercise,sit with your arms at your sides. Then, sit as tall as you can while inhaling slowly. After that, exhale and relax. Repeat spine extensions 10 times.

2. Wall Tilts

Wall tilts help with lower back posture. 

First, stand with your back against a wall. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart with your knees unlocked. Then, place one hand behind your back. Flatten your lower back to place pressure on your hand. Relax, and repeat the exercise 10 times.

3. Arm Raises

Arm raises help improve your rib flexibility to help you breathe easier. By doing the exercise, you increase your ability to lift your ribcage and return your shoulders to the proper position as you breathe. 

To perform the exercise, sit or stand with your arms at your side with a neutral spine. Then raise your elbows so that they’re parallel to the floor. As you raise your arms, you should bring your shoulder blades together and slowly inhale. Do 10 arm raise repetitions. 

4. Shoulder Blade Squeezes

Shoulder blade squeezes help you keep your spine in a comfortable neutral position. The exercise helps correct poor posture by putting your shoulders below your ears.

Start the exercise by standing with your arms at your sides. Find a neutral position for your spine and pelvis. Then bring your shoulders back and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Relax, and return to your starting position. Repeat the exercise 10 times.

5. Shoulder Circles

Shoulder circles help improve your shoulder and rib cage flexibility. The exercise helps bring your spine into a straight, neutral position. 

To do the exercise, sit in a chair with your back straight. Then, slowly raise your shoulders as if you were trying to touch your ears with them. Then lower your shoulders. Do 10 repetitions of shoulder circles.

Good Posture Habits and Posture Correction Reminders

As much as possible, you should practice good posture whether you’re standing, sitting, or lying down. 

Good Posture Habits While Lying Down

Try to sleep on your back or side to put less pressure on your spine. Sleeping on your back may be helpful for some people with sleep apnea

Sleeping on your stomach keeps your head turned to one direction, which can cause neck pain. It also extends your neck backward, which compresses your spine. That can constrict your blood flow and compress your nerves

Correct Posture While Sitting

Sit with your feet flat on the floor and sit back in the chair. Sit with your chest up and your spine in a neutral position. To find the right posture, try shifting your hips forward and backward until you find a comfortable position. 

How to Stand With Good Posture

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your knees unlocked and your arms relaxed at your sides. Then tilt your pelvis forward until you reach a comfortable position Then alternate between arching (stretching backward) and rounding (stretching forward) until you find a comfortable “middle ground.” Then, bring your chin forward until your position feels natural. Your head should feel balanced on your shoulders. 

A note about texting and using your tablet: you place a lot of pressure on your neck by looking down at your devices. Try holding your phone or tablet up a bit higher to keep correct posture.

Other Ways to Improve Posture

Along with doing the five daily posture exercises for seniors listed above, you can also look into physical therapy or chiropractic care

Your chiropractor or physical therapist can give you additional exercises to help you improve your posture and help relieve back and neck pain.

Another great way to improve your posture is yoga, which has many other health and fitness benefits as well. Plus, certain Medicare Advantage plans cover fitness programs that include yoga classes just for seniors!

Medicare Fitness Programs

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