Posture is simply the position that you hold your body upright against gravity while standing, sitting, or lying down. Good posture, however, keeps your body in perfect alignment and maintains your spine’s natural curvature.
Having proper posture is so vital to leading a healthy lifestyle because it keeps your bones and muscles functioning properly. By keeping your bones and joints in alignment, your muscles can work properly. When your muscles work properly they don’t cause any abnormal wear and tear on your joint surfaces. This decreases your likelihood of degenerative arthritis and joint pain. When your muscles work properly it also allows your body to use less energy, prevents muscle strains and pains, and minimizes injuries.
While there are many obvious health benefits to having good posture that have been discussed, there are a ton of not-so-obvious advantages too.
Keeping proper posture keeps your core muscles slightly engaged at all times. This supports your lower back and helps keep your muscles in their proper places. Your body will naturally flow easier and be more productive. Exercises like Pilates and yoga are a great way to work out your core to support good posture.
Tension headaches are caused by your neck and shoulder muscles cramping up. Good posture can alleviate these headaches because it helps these muscles work properly.
Did you know that just the act of sitting or standing correctly can improve productivity? It’s true! Your body becomes more alert, mindful, and energized when your body has good posture.
Standing tall, walking upright, and sitting with squared shoulders are all attributes of a confident person. They are also what good posture looks like. Coincidence? I think not. If you act and look confident you will become more confident.
Though we all know we need to have good posture, it’s not always easy to maintain. Factors such as stress, obesity, pregnancy, weak muscles, abnormally tight muscles, and even high-heeled shoes all contribute to a person’s poor posture. Unhealthy sitting and standing habits, incorrect working posture, as well as a poor working environment are also major risk factors for poor posture. Next time you’re at your computer, pay attention to how you sit while working. If you lean forward and hunch over your computer you are contributing to your poor posture.
Do you use a smartphone? Sadly, these handy devices have contributed to people’s poor posture so much the phenomenon has been given a name. “Text neck” happens when you hunch over the phone and has a detrimental effect on your overall health and posture.
As I mentioned earlier, good posture keeps your body in perfect alignment and maintains your spine’s natural curvature. It is important to keep your neck and shoulders parallel with your hips. To do that, follow these simple steps for good posture:
It’s never too late to practice good posture. Getting (and staying) active and exercising regularly will not only improve your posture, but it will also decrease your risk of suffering from the ailments caused by bad posture.