The Benefits of Good Posture
Ever since childhood, we have been told to stand and sit up straight. It is a common phrase shared amongst caring parents who want their children to experience the benefits of good posture. Developing proper posture at an early age can help you live the rest of your life to its fullest capacity.
Most of us do not follow the advice of our parents, especially when it comes to our posture. By the time we are teenagers, we make a habit of slouching or sitting slumped over in furniture. Then, by the time we get a job later in life, these bad habits are the only ones we know. Before we know it, we spend even less effort on making sure we are sitting or standing straight. No matter if we are at home or at work, our posture suffers for most of our lives.
So it is no surprise that so many of us experience consistent aches and pains around that time in our lives. People remark on how stiff their backs, legs, and knees are. They move slower. They can’t stretch or twist as well. After years and years of slumping, slouching, and ignoring posture, people reap the consequences of it.
But the benefits of having and keeping good posture go beyond not feeling as stiff as you used to. In fact, there are several bonuses that can come from just a bit more effort to keep our posture straight and healthy. The best part about it is that it’s never too late to start. Even if you ignored your parents and teachers and have maintained bad posture for most of your life, you can change that now and finally feel better.
Improving your posture is something that can start at any age, in any location. We can practice proper posture at our desks, at work, or while on the couch at home, and we can correct our posture regardless of age. There is nothing stopping you from experiencing the following benefits of good posture and healthy body alignment.
Did you know that having poor posture can make you sluggish, tired, and void of energy? It’s true! Recent studies have proven that bad posture can affect your body and your overall energy levels in some surprising ways.
When you are not practicing good posture, the stress and strain from standing or sitting add extra weight, tension, and pain to your bones and joints. Of course, it makes you feel physically unwell but it also saps away your energy because your body is working extra hard thanks to all the strain throughout your body’s muscles. Think of it this way: your body is working extra hard because it is having to combat the stress you are causing by simply not having good posture.
Therefore, if you decide to fix your posture you will soon find that your energy levels will rise drastically. You won’t feel as tired, you won’t feel nearly as rundown and depleted at the end of the day. If you make an effort to seriously consider your posture every day and take steps to correct it, you will find your work output more successful, your energy higher, and your body feeling better in every way.
A Better Mood
If you have found yourself having a sour mood again and again, you might want to adjust your posture as soon as possible. Why? Because many studies have shown that a better posture leads to a better mood. It might sound crazy to believe that standing or sitting at your desk during the work day could make you feel better and be happier, but it is true.
In one 2014 study, 74 people were assigned to sit slumped or upright and then asked to complete a reading task and give a speech to others. People who sat upright stated they had higher self-esteem, a higher level of alertness, a better mood, and less fear when giving their speech. Those are some impressive results!
So if you find yourself feeling grumpy day after day, change the way you sit or stand. Focus on having a straight back, with both feet on the ground. Watch as your mood improves in no time at all. Good posture doesn’t just help your body and your health, it helps your mind and your attitude too. It’s a win-win for your body in every sense.
Here’s something you will definitely want to keep an eye on. Your breath. Of all the benefits of good posture, this might be the biggest one.
When your body is aligned correctly and you are employing good posture, you will find it is easier to breathe. It makes perfect sense when you think of your anatomy. When you are sitting or standing slouched with bad posture, your lung capacity is compromised. If you have bad posture, there will be more strain on your lungs. That is ultimately a very bad thing.
If you take steps to improve your posture, your inhales and exhales will deepen in no time. The act of sitting or standing straight will expand your lungs and allow more air to enter them. You can take deeper breaths and train your body to breathe more steadily and solidly each and every time.
Breathing correctly comes with a whole slew of health benefits. If you need any one reason to adjust your posture when at work or at home, this should be it.
Have you ever had a tension headache? If you have, you definitely know how annoying they are. A tension headache starts in your upper back or lower neck and radiates outwards and into your head. A tension headache is known for its consistent and throbbing pain that seems to continue no matter what you do. Why won’t it stop as a regular headache does? Mostly because a tension headache is probably caused by bad posture. When you get rid of your bad posture, you get rid of these headaches too.
If you sit up or stand up straight, you will have a straight back and a spine that’s properly aligned. Your head will raise, your chin will tuck in a tad, your lower back will curve naturally and everything will click into place. This will do away with the tension in your lower and upper back and that will lessen the chances of you having tense aches that will spread to your head.
Headaches can be debilitating and can truly stop you from having a productive day, week, month, or year. Common headaches can be a roadblock that makes just about everything else seemingly impossible until it is solved. Thankfully, you don’t need to visit a doctor or take any sort of medication to get rid of some of the worst headaches: tension headaches. Instead, all you need to do is attend to your posture and these awful headaches will diminish in no time.
No More Jaw Pain
One of the many issues that can be caused by poor posture is TMJ, also known as temporomandibular joint syndrome. The temporomandibular joints are the two joints that connect your jawbones to the temporal bones of your skull. Essentially, these joints work like the hinge of a door and help you open and close your mouth with ease.
If you have bad posture, you will encounter misalignment all over your body. This includes your neck, shoulders, and especially in the joints. This will lead to your joints popping, cramping, locking, or having spasms. It is an awfully painful and uncomfortable situation to be in and can be caused by bad posture.
If you assist and fix your bad posture, you will find that the joints of your jaw – and all over your body – will be greatly helped. The pains that come with tension in your mouth and neck and jaw will disappear. TMJ can be a thing of the past and your mouth can be functioning at full capacity again, all you need to do is fix your poor posture.
Ease your Arthritis
Arthritis can be one of the most painful and excruciatingly annoying conditions someone can have. It causes aches and pains that are unlike anything else in the world and can prevent someone from walking correctly, running well, staying healthy, or living a fruitful and normal life.
Having arthritis is bad enough but it can be made even worse by bad posture. If you already suffer from arthritis, you need to go out of your way to make sure your posture is in the best possible condition. Multiple studies and countless doctors have said that misalignment in the bones and joints is caused by bad posture and can make arthritis even worse than it naturally is.
Arthritis can have horrible effects on your body but poor posture can make those effects even stronger. If you correct your posture, you will find that your arthritis – while not cured – will at least be more manageable.
How to Experience the Benefits of Good Posture
So you know you want to adjust and fix your bad posture, but what are the steps you need to take? How do you rectify a problem like this if it is something you have been doing for years now? Thankfully, the steps are quite easy to follow and can create results in no time at all. If you are ready for good posture at home and at work, this is what you need to do:
Keep Your Feet Solid on the Ground
This one is a no-brainer and is actually one of the best things you can do to experience the benefits of good posture. Whenever possible, make sure to have both feet planted firmly on the ground. If you are at work, sit in a chair that isn’t too high off the ground. Better yet, if you are able you should invest in a standing desk for your workspace. This will keep your feet solidly on the ground and will also help you stand up straight with a healthy spine. Whether you are sitting or standing, make sure that your feet are about a foot-length apart with both of them pointing forward. You will notice a change in your posture almost immediately.
Tense Your Glutes
Squeezing and tensing your glutes is another great and easy way to improve your posture in no time at all. Best of all, it is so incredibly easy to do. Tensing your glutes is something you have done countless times before and you do it every day again and again when you are walking. If you spend time focusing on tensing your glutes and keeping them tense then your lower back posture will almost instantly improve. The glutes are a pivotal part of good posture and you should spend time tending to them.
Tense Your Abdominals
You would be surprised by how good it feels to randomly and sporadically tense your abdominals throughout the day. Doing this will help your posture and provide you with a better look and feel throughout your body. It is important that you make tensing your abs a habit, something you do again and again throughout the day. It might be smart to even set a reminder on your phone so you can take short breaks from work to tense your muscles. Soon it will become something that is second-nature to you, something you do often and soon you will be doing it without any reminding at all.
Pull Your Shoulders Back and Down
Like so many recommendations on this list, pulling your shoulders back and down is something you need to remind yourself to do – at first. If you make it into a habit, you will find that your body begins to naturally do this without you needing to take the initiative and focus on it. Setting your shoulders back goes a long way to straightening your back and keeping it properly aligned.
Keep Your Head Directly Over the Rest of Your Body
Here is another trick that will help your posture almost immediately. The moment that you adjust your head placement and try to keep it strictly above the rest of your body, you will feel the rest of your back and body align instantly and you will know that you have made the right move. Now the trick is to keep your head directly above the rest of your body and it will ensure that your posture stays good long into the future.
As you can see, the benefits of good posture will make your life so much better in such little time. Creating better posture for yourself at work and at home is something you need to do as soon as possible. When you are at home, make sure to sit and stand properly and when you are at work you need to do the same, either through buying a nice and comfortable chair or investing in any number or wonderful standing desks that will give you the sort of posture that will improve your body and overall health.
Experiencing the benefits of good posture is something you need to focus on daily, whether you are working or staying at home. There is no excuse for having bad posture. It’s just like our parents told us, stand and sit up straight! If you want more articles like this, make sure to sign up for our emails!