How’s your posture looking these days? Are you often hunched or slouched over your computer? Although many people may not pay mind to its importance, good posture is more than just about looking prim, proper and pretty. It’s about keeping the spine in balance, and preventing any potential, future pain or health issues which may arise from not doing so. Want to know more about the importance of good posture? Check out the 10 positive benefits to having good posture.
First, let’s talk about what having good posture means. Practicing good posture involves standing, walking, sitting and lying down in a way that causes the least strain on the body. One of the best visuals in regards to correct posture that I’ve heard a few times while taking belly dance, is to imagine that your head is being pulled straight up by a string. Keep your chest lifted slightly, while drawing in the abdominals. The shoulders should be down and back with your chin not too far in and not too far out. Pressure should be distributed equally on the balls of your feet, as well as your hips.
One trick you can try is sitting or standing up straight with your chin slightly lifted. Clasp both hands behind your back, and keeping your spine in this neutral position, unclasp the hands, and place them at your sides. And not, let’s discuss the benefits of doing this.
1. Good Circulation
Feel a little woozy or strange when you sit up after an extended period at a desk or lying down? That’s because the blood rushes through your body to adjust due to poor posture.The long-held bad pose fatigues the muscles and reduces the ability of blood vesselsto supply those muscles with blood. Good posture improves blood flow.
2. Better Self-Image
Look at a few photos of yourself that reveal your posture. Or get a friend to take a natural picture of you when they notice your “typical” posture. Then, take a photo of yourself with better posture. Sitting upright aligns your bones and makes you look healthier and less slouchy like Eeyore!
You’re also more likely to make eye contact with someone because your body’s not slumped downward, which can help you feel more confident to engage with others.
3. Positive Feelings
Researchers say if you sit up, you will notice your mood enhance, too. Improve your levels of joy and energy by sitting in a more upright position. Poor posture can make you feel more depressed and stressed. While bad posture doesn’t cause depression and anxiety, studies show it can worsen the effects of the symptoms on the mind and body.
4. Better Breathing
Mindfulness practices focus on breathing and posture for good reasons. Upright posture and an aligned spine help the chest and lungs to take in air. Which helps with circulating oxygen to your brain and major organs.
5. Boosted Concentration
Again, better breathing is good for the body because it allows more oxygen to spread throughout the body. One study found that tilting your chin upward with good posture increased oxygen flow by 40 percent to the brain, effectively boosting concentration. Those who slumped in the study tended to recall negative memories more easily.
Good posture aligns your spine and muscles groups to work together. You improve your balance and reduce your likelihood of getting injured. Want to achieve better balance physically, too? Pay attention to your posture.
7. Energy Efficiency
Feeling worn out? Fix your posture to get a natural energy boost since poor posture is associated with fatigue and reduced ability to move a misaligned spine or perform work efficiently.
Continued sitting for long periods puts your body at increased risk for repetitive motion injury, and better posture helps you prevent that. So, if you sit down for eight or more hours clicking a mouse, you may be more at-risk than a waiter! Add a pillow to your desk chair and adjust it so your hips align with your knees or come up a little higher.
8. Improved Muscle Use
Whenever you hunch over or slouch, your muscles near your neck, spine, and tailbone, take the brunt of the pressure, and you can stress out these muscles. That’s why your shoulders and neck are always tight — avoid back injuries by sitting upright!
9. Prevent Text Neck
Ever heard of text neck? Your head weight becomes 27 pounds when you lean 15 degrees, or 40 pounds at a 30-degree tilt. On average, the head is 10 to 12 pounds, like a bowling ball. So when you hunch over your phone at a 60-degree angle, you bear 60 pounds on your shoulders!
That severely strains your bones. Good posture will help prevent text neck and bone wear because you remove abnormal bodily stress, which can stress your joints.
10. Increase Range of Motion
Over time, bad posture decreases your range of motion, or how far your joints can move in a given direction. Tight chest muscles lean your shoulders, while shortened tight hips tug the upper body forward. This all leads to bad posture. When you sit up regularly, your range of motion increases and improves.
So, what does good posture look like? As you sit, keep your chin evenly aligned and horizontal to the floor. Your knees, hips, and shoulders should be even, and your weight equally distributed into both feet. Think tall. Think confident!