Get Fit
Before Summer

With Anais Zanotti

Getting Straight on Your Posture: Why It’s Important and How to Correct It

Whether it’s at work, school, or just relaxing at home, many of us find ourselves hunched over in a chair for long periods of time. We’ve all been told by parents and teachers to “stand tall” or “stand up straight”, but maybe never fully understood the impact that posture can have on our lives.

 

 The Importance of Good Posture

 


Neck, back and shoulder pain can make everyday functions like sleeping and exercising challenging. Correcting your posture can help eliminate tension in the neck and upper back that is associated with slouching. Sitting and standing straight also distributes your weight more evenly and reduces the tension and burden that bad posture places on the lower back.

 

Having good posture will have a positive impact on your workouts for a number of reasons. Consistently slouching will cause your lungs to compress, limiting their capacity. An improved posture will give your lungs more room to expand and make it easier to breathe during cardio and calisthenics workouts. Having good posture in your daily life is also good preparation for having good form for exercises like squats by encouraging a stronger core and a neutral spine.

 

In addition to the important physical benefits, good posture is an easy way to increase confidence. Bad posture makes you appear shorter and causes you to have a less attractive profile due to your gut protruding. Standing straight has also been linked with a decrease in cortisol, a hormone that causes stress. By standing taller, you will feel more assertive and convey a greater sense of poise.

 

Improving Your Posture

Tips for Work

Learning how to maintain excellent posture at work is critical for long-term health, especially work that involves driving or sitting at a desk for long periods of time. Easy ways to improve posture at work include keeping your feet flat on the floor, adjusting your computer screen to eye level, and finding the right chair for you. Try to take a break from sitting every 30-45 minutes to improve blood circulation and give your upper back and neck rest.

 

Tips for Home

We may not realize it, but our bed and sleep habits can have a large impact on our posture. A healthy sleeping position should preserve the curve in the lower back. Avoid sleeping on your stomach, as this will place an unnatural burden on your back and neck. For maximum benefit, sleep on your side or on your back with a pillow under the knees for additional support. This will not only help with posture but will help eliminate back pains and tension that prevent quality rest.

 

Try performing a few simple exercises at home to strengthen your back and core muscles. Yoga and other stretches will ease the tension that has been built up in your back and neck and make it easier to stand tall.

 

Correcting your posture does not have to involve expensive accessories or radical changes to your daily life. Try incorporating a few tips from above and see how much better your mind and body will feel!