Tucking in your tummy may make you look like a drill sergeant when you walk. But it won’t relieve your back pain.
Standing ramrod straight actually puts pressure on your spine. Rather than clench your stomach, focus on your balance. Think in terms of stacking: Unlock your knees, distribute your weight equally on both feet and keep your head centered over your shoulders.
Imagine that your ribcage is resting comfortably above your pelvis. Visualize a string rising to the ceiling in a straight line from the center of your scalp that gently props your head and chin up.
If you notice yourself slouching or leaning, reposition yourself so that your back is stacked properly. Check your reflection whenever you see a mirror to confirm that you’re not lapsing into a lazy stance.
Train yourself to pay special attention to your posture and gait when you’re tired. That’s when you are vulnerable to losing your proper stride and placing undue stress on your back.
Carry a smart load
Frequent walking offers excellent cardiovascular benefits. It also helps strengthen your back.
Just make sure you do not favor one side or hunch over as you walk. Ideally, you should establish a rhythm where your feet roll from heel to ball in a smooth motion with every forward step. Don’t act as if you’re a soldier marching in a military parade who lands forcefully on your heels.
If you often sling heavy bags around your shoulder, rotate the weight. Drape your laptop bag on your right shoulder as you walk to your flight and keep it on your left shoulder as you walk from your plane to baggage claim. That saves one side of your body from bearing too much of the burden.
When transporting a bulky bag, adjust the shoulder strap so that the load rests at your midsection. If it hangs too low, you may harm your lumbar muscles. Ensure that your purse or bag stays close to your body to further protect your back.