“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 🙂