Why You Should Improve Your Posture
You’ve probably heard the phrase “good posture” more times than you can count. When you were a kid, your parents probably told you to sit up straight. Your teachers probably told you to do it too. That’s because good posture is one of the most important aspects of health. It may not seem like it, but it can have a huge impact on your overall quality of life.
Having good posture is about more than just looking good. It can have a real impact on your health, too. With poor posture, you’re opening yourself up to chronic pain and postural disorders. You may even struggle to breathe deeply and get enough oxygen.
What causes poor posture?
Poor posture often develops as the result of repetitive movements and bad habits, such as:
- Sitting for long periods at a time without taking breaks
- Carrying heavy backpacks or purses on one shoulder
- Slouching in front of a computer, TV, or other screens all-day
Here are some reasons why you should improve your posture.
- It’ll Improve Your Mood
Bad posture can make you feel down in the dumps. It can literally change your body chemistry, leading to stress and sadness. Good posture has been shown to boost energy levels and reduce fatigue, leading to a better mood overall! Your confidence will also be boosted when you have good posture, so you’ll feel even better about yourself!
- You’ll Be More Productive
Good posture improves blood circulation and increases productivity by allowing more oxygen to flow through the body. Even if you work at a desk all day long, poor posture can lead to pain and discomfort that in turn makes it harder for you to focus on the task at hand. Sitting up straight at your desk will help you stay alert and productive throughout the day!
- Reduced Stress and Pain
You may feel stress, tension, or pain in your body if you have poor posture. When your posture is off, your spine and joints are not in the correct position. As a result, it takes more effort for your muscles to support the weight of your body. This can cause aches and pains as well as muscle tension throughout the body. For example, a forward head with rounded shoulders forces the neck and upper back to work harder to support the head. This can lead to neck pain. A rounded back puts extra strain on the lower back which can cause low back pain.
- Improved circulation and digestion
Good posture helps improve circulation, digestion, flexibility and energy levels. The amount of blood flow to different parts of your body is dependent on the position of your muscles and bones. Slumped over, the muscles in your chest are constricted; sitting up straight allows them to relax and improves blood flow. That’s one reason why good posture makes you feel more alert.
Your stomach also relies on good posture to perform properly. Slumping compresses the digestive tract and forces acid from your stomach into your esophagus — a main cause of heartburn. Sitting up straight allows food to pass through more easily and keeps acid where it belongs.
- Reduced risk of injury
Injuries are often the result of poor posture. It can put excess stress on your joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Having a strong core (the muscles of your trunk and pelvis) is essential for good posture. By strengthening these muscles you can improve your coordination, balance, and endurance.
- Proper posture improves spine health
Sitting and standing with proper alignment improves blood flow, helps keep your nerves and blood vessels healthy, and supports your muscles, ligaments, and tendons. People who make a habit of using correct posture are less likely to experience related neck pain.
- Improved breathing efficiency (by opening up the chest)
When your head is tilted forward and down, the rib cage is compressed. This compression causes the diaphragm — the muscle that makes breathing possible — to work harder than necessary. As a result, you end up taking more shallow breaths, which makes it more difficult for your lungs to get the oxygen they need. When your spine is aligned properly, you’re able to take deeper breaths in which oxygen reaches all of your organs and tissues.
- Better balance and coordination (by aligning your center of gravity over your base of support)
When we’re walking or running, our bodies rely on a complex feedback loop between the brain, muscles, and joints so that we can make corrections in real-time. Good posture is essential for this system to function properly.
Also, when you sit or stand with good posture, your body naturally balances itself over its center of gravity — also known as the first sacral vertebrae in your lower back (the point at which your spine connects with your hips).
Cultivating an upright posture is not just about standing tall and looking confident. It can help you to feel better and live better. When you stand up straight and hold your head high, your body is open to receive all of life’s gifts. Your lungs can breathe in more oxygen to keep your lungs healthy. Your heart doesn’t have to work as hard when your body is aligned properly. Since 80 percent of headaches are caused by bad posture, improving your posture will alleviate many of your headaches, too. Good posture also makes you look thinner and younger. So what are you waiting for? Let’s start improving your posture today!