When you were a kid, your mother or kindergarten teacher probably told you to stop slouching and sit up straight a number of times. You’ve also probably been told the same by your chiropractor or doctor each time you’ve had to skip work due to severe back pain. And the media is now spreading the same gospel. It is posture, posture, and posture everywhere. People are buying ergonomic chairs and companies are buying standing desks. Others, especially many a woman is investing in a back brace for posture for women. Well all know it’s important to keep good posture, but why? First, let’s know what good posture is.
What’s good posture?
Good posture means carrying out your day-to-day activities in a manner that keeps yours joints and muscles in their natural place. It should ease any unnecessary strains, and be comfortable. All in all, here are 10 good reasons why you should maintain proper posture.
Keeping a good posture helps to open up your airways and ensure better breathing. This lets more oxygen flow through your cardiopulmonary system. Then the blood is able to carry enough oxygen to the entire body and ensure your nervous system, tissues, and organs function effectively.
Improves your image
People with proper posture look more attractive and elegant. Someone with a poor posture can appear unkempt, even if they haven’t done or said anything. In contrast, someone with proper posture naturally projects an aura of appeal and assertiveness.
Boosts concentration and thinking capacity
When you breathe properly, your thinking capacity increases as well. Your brain requires 20 percent of oxygen to properly do its job. More air means more oxygen. And more oxygen means more brain food. Lastly, more brain food results in more ideas and thoughts.
Prevents health complications
Poor posture causes lots of health complications over time, like back aches, back pain, increased risk of slipped disc, poor blood circulation, and pressure inside the chest. So, keep good posture to prevent these conditions.
Changes your mood
Posture also affects your mood and your mood may affect your posture. Therefore, when you’re fine, feeling happy and confident, your posture tends to be open and upright. On the other hand, those who are suffering with chronic pain or are depressed tend to stand or sit slumped.
Relieves your stress
Stress not only leads to bad posture, but actually perpetuates it as well. A recent study found that adopting a good posture when you’re stressed can reduce your negative mood, maintain your self-esteem, and boost positive mood. As such, sitting up straight can be a simple trick to help you fight stress.
Reduced risk of joint conditions
Over time, poor posture can lead to more serious health conditions. These may include degenerative osteoarthritis, which is usually due to your bones being improperly aligned. Therefore, your joints and ligaments are under constant strain. Studies indicate that people with proper posture are much less likely to suffer from this condition as they get older.
Less muscle fatigue
Spending a lot of time in a bad posture position can tire your muscles. With a bad posture, you waste plenty of energy as your muscles are constantly working to support you against the force of gravity. You also have slow digestion, poor circulation, and shallow breathing—no wonder you’re exhausted all the time!
While the two might seem unrelated, poor posture may cause headaches. Predominantly felt at the bottom of the skull, excess tension in the shoulder and neck muscles causes these headaches, often due to slumping over while sitting.
These headaches are aptly called tension headaches. You can drastically reduce them by sitting up straight with proper posture.
Improved range of motion
Sometimes poor posture can cause a permanent lengthening or shortening of groups of muscles. For instance, if you slouch over a desk the whole day, your stomach core muscles will be continuously compressed.
Ultimately, you’ll have a limited range of motion. Keeping proper posture fully prevents this, and stretching on a regular basis will lead to an increase in range of motion.
So, now that you’ve read this article, you don’t have any reason to slouch. Try all you can to sit up or stand with proper posture. Start small and build it up. Remember, the more times you do this, the easier it gets.