Perfecting your Posture

Written by: Helen

 

“Sit up straight” may sound like something grown-ups used as a nagging tool when you were a teenager, but in fact it was very good advice (so if you’re reading this and you are still a teenager, take heed).  The definition of posture is the ‘position someone holds their body in when standing or sitting.’  Therefore good posture means you hold your body in a good position.  But good for what? Does it really matter?  Actually you may be surprised at the things posture can impact.

 

Importance of Good Posture

There are various benefits we can feel when we pay attention to our posture and try to correct any bad habbits.  Here are a few of the benefits:

Allows for better and deeper breathing- Lungs have room to expand

Improves digestion– allows organs to properly align including the stomach

Better on your muscles and joints- reduces stress on ligaments and helps to keep our joints correctly aligned.  It can reduce the risk of injury.

Reduces stress on spine

Makes us feel happier and more confident- This may initially seem a little far fetched.  However when people feel sad they are more likely to slouch and when people feel happy they are more likely to stand straight.  Good posture is an outward display of confidence and someone who is in control.  This can help to change our frame of mind so that we feel confident and in control.

Makes you appear taller and slimmer

 

What Does Good Posture Look Like?

Good posture is when you are in a position (whether you are standing or sitting) that doesn’t place strain on your joints and ligaments.

When sitting you should sit up straight and push your bottom to the back of the chair.  When standing some tips are to pull in your stomach and straighten your spine (you should never aim for a completely straight spine as our spines have natural curves); keep your shoulders back.

The thing is that we are all individuals so ‘good’posture may vary slightly for each of us.  Ultimately the aim is to make ourselves a little straighter and taller whilst protecting the three natural curves in our spine.

If you want to find out more about what your posture should look like then this article details it here

Ways to Improve Posture

1) Start to notice bad habbits

We can’t start to correct ourselves until we recognise where we might be going wrong.  Most of the time when we stand or sit we don’t even notice our position.  If you work in an office start to pay attention to how you sit in your chair.  When you are walking do you walk tall or do you slouch?

2) Look for warning pains

Back pain can be a sign of bad posture.  There can, of course, be other causes but if you start to notice that you suffer with back ache then checking your posture and making any adjustments is a good place to start.

3) Take a break

It can be hard to maintain good posture if we are trying to sit or stand in the same position for a long period.  Take a break and move around, change positions or do something different.

4) Make gradual changes

If your posture is bad you could improve it gradually.  This may make it feel more comfortable and also make it a little easier.  Start by pushing your bottom back in your seat or straightening your back or pushing your shoulders down.

5) Find a way that works for you

Perhaps you work well with imagery.  In this case imagine you are being pulled upwards by a piece of string.  Perhaps you need reminding throughout the day so you could set a reminder on your phone to check your posture at regular intervals.  Make sure your chair and desk are set up correctly ie. you have a footrest if needed, your chair is at the right height for the desk etc.

What is your posture like? Thanks for reading 🙂

  1. Veronica says:

    An interesting article Helen. Yes I know it’s sound advice but remembering to check (I’ve just realised I’m slouching..) Going past a reflective window sometimes reminds me and crossing a room like the hunchback of Notre Dame because it’s too short to bother straightening up. Must try harder!

  2. Sean Yaxley says:

    Definitely agree how the first step should be noticing the bad habits, I recently wrote a post titled “5 Stupidly Easy Posture Hacks“, it basically shows some bad habits and what to do about them.

    Like you said though, we can’t correct ourselves till we know what those bad habits are, the beauty though is that once you recognize a few bad habits you start noticing more a lot sooner and of course sooner the better really.

    Thanks for bringing us this great post Helen 🙂

    Sean
    Sean Yaxley recently posted…5 Stupidly Easy Posture Hacks to Improve Your PostureMy Profile

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