Good Posture Guide
You are slouching at your desk right now, aren’t you? After a couple of hours staring at a computer screen, sitting at your desk or slumping over your cell phone, you feel like you need a massage, right? Your posture – particularly your work posture – can affect your health. Poor posture can hamper your health and your motivation. Good posture is great for overall well-being and self-confidence. Oh, and people notice your posture, so it can affect your earning power, too.
What Is Good Posture?
According to the Cleveland Clinic,
Posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity while standing, sitting or lying down. Good posture involves training your body to stand, walk, sit and lie in positions where the least strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement or weight-bearing activities. Proper posture:
- Keeps bones and joints in the correct alignment so that muscles are being used properly.
- Helps decrease the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in arthritis.
- Decreases the stress on the ligaments holding the joints of the spine together.
- Prevents the spine from becoming fixed in abnormal positions.
- Prevents fatigue because muscles are being used more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energy.
- Prevents strain or overuse problems.
- Prevents backache and muscular pain.
- Contributes to a good appearance
Let’s review some of the other benefits of good posture and give you some simple ways to improve your posture.
Good posture improves your breathing, and breathing correctly helps stimulate your brain. This improves your concentration and your ability to think creatively. Poor posture has been shown in studies to affect emotions negatively. Even after a short time in a slumped posture, subjects reported feeling depressed. According to Personal Excellence, good posture,
Facilitates breathing: A good posture naturally enables you to breathe properly. I started appreciating this after I started meditating regularly a few months back, coupled with a good posture. I found a really a huge difference in the amount of air I could inhale between sitting up straight and slouching. This is why yoga, pilates and meditation exercises pay so much attention on getting your posture and sitting positions right.
Increases concentration and thinking ability: When you are breathing properly, you increase your thinking ability too. Our brain requires 20% of oxygen to do its job properly. More air, more oxygen. More oxygen, more brain food. More brain food leads to more thoughts and ideas.
Improve your image: People with good postures look smarter and more attractive. Have you ever seen someone with a bad posture and felt the person seemed unkempt, even though the person has not said or done anything yet? On the flip side, someone with a good posture naturally exudes an aura of assertiveness and appeal.
Feel even better about yourself: When you have a good posture, it helps to make you feel more self-confident, without even doing anything else different. Try sitting in a bad posture now for 30 seconds. Now, switch to a good posture for 30 seconds as well. Is there any difference in how you felt?
Avoid health complications: A bad posture results in several complications over time, such as increased risks of slipped disc, back aches, back pain, pressure inside your chest, poor blood circulation. When I was studying in business school, I had a professor back who suffered from a slip disc when he was younger. Unfortunately, he can’t straighten his back ever since the incident and he now walks with a permanent slouch.
Poor posture causes chronic aches and pains, which are the main health risks of poor posture.
Common Posture Mistakes
LiveScience tell us about some of the most common posture mistakes,
There are many factors in people’s daily lives that can sabotage posture and throw the body off-balance, such as sitting at a desk for long periods, frequently cradling a phone between the ear and the shoulder, hunching over a laptop, or continually looking down at a smartphone. The body was not physiologically designed to stay in one position, and if you go a long time without changing your position, it can start to stress your body’s tissues, Robertson said. To remedy this common posture mistake, he recommended switching positions about every 20 minutes. For example, you can take a break from your desk work to get up and stretch.
When women wear high heels, their posture can be shifted forward, causing the lower back to arch too much, Robertson said.
Another common problem is when people carry heavy backpacks or bags on one side of the body, which can lead to muscle imbalances, such as muscle tightness or weakness.
Simple Things That Improve Your Posture
Keep your ears in line with your shoulders. This ensures that you don’t lean too far forward or back.
Draw your chin back so that you ease the strain on your spine. Stand with your back – and back of your head – against the wall. Make a note of your chin’s location and keep it there when you sit down.
Uncross your legs. Both feet should be on the ground when you are sitting correctly.
Get up and move every hour.
Exercises For Good Posture
When it comes to how to have good posture, a strong core is key. The classic plank is1 a fantastic core exercise that lights up a multitude of muscles all at once. When done correctly the plank strengthens several abdominal muscles while also working the shoulders and back.
Practice the plank by lying face down on the floor with palms alongside shoulders and feet and legs together. Raise yourself so your arms are straight and you’re balancing equally on your hands and toes.
Alternatively, raise yourself just to your forearms. Be sure to keep your spine straight, as proper form is essential to getting the most out of this move. Try holding the pose for 30 seconds. As your strength grows, extend the time to between one and three minutes.
See more exercises at Keep Inspiring Me.
Below is an infographic containing a few more posture tips.
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