Good posture is essential for preventing back and neck pain, but it's not always easy to tell if you're keeping everything in alignment. An easy way to check is with the wall test.
The video above shows a test particularly for golfers (for whom proper form is critical), but it may also help you, golfer or not, identify if you need to work on your posture. YouTube user SortMySwing says to: Stand with your feet about six inches from the wall, with your back and head against the wall and neck tucked in. Lift your arms parallel to the ground then rotate them up against the wall and try to touch your wrists to the wall. If your back arches or you have trouble getting your wrists up, it's a red flag.
The more common version of the wall test for checking posture also has you stand against the wall with your feet about six inches away, but instead of pressing your back flat against the wall, just have your head, shoulders, and butt touch the wall. Place your hand between your lower back and the wall and then again between your neck and the wall. If you can get within an inch or two at the low back and two at the neck, you're in good shape. Otherwise, adjust your posture to get the ideal two inches of space. For example, if there's too much space, tighten your abs and try to maintain that throughout the day.
The Creating Wellness Chiropractic centre has a posture self-test PDF with the wall test instructions plus other tests you can do. The Mayo Clinic's slideshow of posture photos is also a useful resource to compare your posture against.
Got any tips for keeping straight throughout the day? Share them with us in the comments.