We hear a great deal about good posture, but just how important is it? Well, as it turns out, good posture is very important when it comes to our health and well-being. People constantly talk about how we should stand up straight and not slouch our shoulders forwards, but why exactly is that? Practicing good posture isn’t simply about looking presentable and perhaps gaining an inch in height or so. No, the benefits of good posture go way beyond that. Good posture is all about correctly aligning the spine and ensuring it remains in balance. This will not only help you to stand and sit up straight, it will also potentially help you prevent any future health issues which could involve your back and/or spine, especially in later life. But exactly how important is it to practice good posture, and is there anything that can be done to improve one’s posture? Here’s a brief yet informative look at everything you need to know about good posture.
What are the main benefits of good posture?
To get the ball rolling, we’ll begin by listing some prominent benefits associated with good posture. There are countless advantages associated with good posture and while we can’t list them all, we can look at some of the most obvious and beneficial advantages. These include, but are not limited to:
Prevention of pain
If you’ve ever suffered with back pain, or neck pain, you’ll know straight away how miserable these forms of pain can make you. Back pain can be excruciating and can make even the most trivial of tasks a real challenge. Take bending down to tie your shoelaces for example. If your back is in good condition, you’ll manage no problem at all. If however, you are suffering with back pain, it can be impossible. Good posture helps to remove the strain from ligaments and supporting muscles in and around the back and neck, thereby removing the strain and placing everything under less pressure. One of the most common causes of neck and back pain is failing to properly align our bodies as we stand or sit. Numerous studies have found that good posture can significantly reduce the risk of neck and/or back pain.
When it comes to overall wellness, good digestion is often at the core of good health. When we practice good posture, this ensures that the ribcage is aligned in the perfect position, keeping your digestive system open and unobstructed. This openness and freedom of the digestive system means that everything can work as it should, making the digestive system function more efficiently.
Not only does posture improve your digestion and your back and neck, it has also been found to have an impact on your circulatory system too. Experts have found that poor posture can result in blood vessels becoming compressed, resulting in less oxygenated blood, packed full of nutrients, being carried around the body and supplied to the muscles. This results in the muscles becoming fatigued, and you becoming fatigued in general as you aren’t getting as much oxygen as you should. Good posture helps to open up the blood vessels and allow more oxygenated blood, packed full of nutrients, to be transported around the body and supplied to the cells where it is needed. Improved circulation will not only help you feel more energized, it will also boost athletic performance, and health in general.
4 Tips Proven to Improve Posture
Now that we’ve looked at some prominent advantages associated with good posture, let us now tell you what you can do to improve your own posture, in the comfort of your own home. Check out these tips and see what you think:
Bring back your shoulder blades and stand up straight
Remember, when it comes to posture, it is your shoulder blades that serve as the foundations. In order to practice good posture, be sure to stand up straight and pull back your shoulder blades as you do. Bringing them backwards allows for better movement within the shoulders, which in turn means that you can straighten your stance.
Support the arms while sitting and keep shoulders level
Again, sticking with the shoulders, when you’re sitting down, be sure to keep them level and ensure your arms are supported. Failing to do so means that you put your back and shoulders under more pressure, which can cause you to hunch forwards. Overtime this will become common practice and you’ll find yourself constantly hunched over, which is the exact opposite of what you want to achieve.
One common side-effect associated with poor posture is spinal problems, which can seriously affect overall quality of life. Yoga however, is an ancient pastime with proven health benefits, especially when it comes to good posture. Many of the poses associated with yoga have been found to improve a person’s posture a great deal. Poses in particular, which are very effective, include: tree pose, downward facing dog, and a basic abdominal plank.
Sit down at a 135-degree angle
Finally, when you do sit down, whether at home or at work, look for a chair that allows you to sit at a 135 degree angle so that it supports your back. Sitting at this type of angle means less strain is placed onto the spine. This is a fairly reclined position, so it will take some getting used to, but overtime, boy will your spine thank you for it.