Good posture leads to good health. And there’s no reason that you can’t have great posture. You may not be aware of it, but the way you sit or stand has a big impact on your overall health.
Have you ever been on your way to work and felt as if you were carrying a weight on your shoulders? That’s called poor posture that results when you spend countless number of hours slouched in front of a laptop or TV, resulting in a permanent hunch.
Bad posture not only contributes to physical discomfort, but also to fatigue, poor circulation, backache, and even joint pain.
Bad posture isn’t something people typically consider as a health concern, and chances are you’ve never been asked about your posture at the doctor’s office. But according to experts, proper posture can improve both your health and the way you look in a variety of ways.
How bad posture affects your well-being?
The American Medical Association estimates that 70% of American adults have postural defects. Postural defects include both muscle imbalances and postural misalignment (a body becomes misaligned or ‘out of alignment’ due to the pull of gravity.)
Both can develop at any stage of your life. Poor posture can lead to a variety of musculoskeletal complaints that can impact your quality of life.
Sometimes having a bad posture is not a voluntary choice but a result of some disease, like cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a birth defect that is caused due to medical negligence. One can always sue the doctors and seek compensation if malpractice on their behalf can be proven. In case your child suffers from cerebral palsy, you can learn more about the legal course you can pursue by contacting lawyers that specialize in these lawsuits.
Barring the birth complications that affect posture, you can always do something about other postural issues.
Here are simple tips on improving your posture:
Stand up straight
Bad posture starts with a sedentary lifestyle, and especially the prolonged hours of time spent at desks in offices or educational institutions. Make sure you sit up straight at your desk or table and get up every hour or so to stretch out the muscles. Doing so will also help prevent eye strain from staring at a computer screen all day long.
Stand tall with your shoulders back and chest out. This helps align your spine, so that it’s in its natural position.
Keep your chin up and your eyes forward (avoid looking at the ground). This will help keep your shoulders back and chest out as well as reduce the tension in the neck.
For your lower body, point your toes outward ever so slightly, while keeping them parallel to each other (think “duck stance”). This can be done while standing or sitting down, depending on which feels more comfortable to you.
It’s important that this doesn’t cause you knee pain or discomfort — if it does, stop immediately and find another way to improve your posture.
Regular exercise helps strengthen the muscles that support your spine and make good posture possible. You don’t need to spend hours lifting weights at the gym; a brisk 30-minutes’ walk performed three times a week will do wonders for your overall health and wellness.
Yoga has gained popularity in recent years for its many benefits, including improved flexibility and strength, energy levels, and better mental focus.
There are a few more posture adjustment tips you can follow:
- Sit up straight when you’re at work, school, or home. Avoid slouching over your desk or in front of the computer screen. It’s tempting to lean back and relax when you get home from work or school, but that position puts pressure on your body and makes it more difficult to get out of bed in the morning. Instead, sit up straight and keep your shoulders back. If you ever find yourself slouching, take a moment to correct your posture before continuing what you were doing.
- Stand up straight whenever possible. This means standing up when talking on the phone or talking with someone face-to-face rather than sitting down or leaning against a wall. This will help train your muscles, so they relearn their proper alignment.
- Suck your tummy in and tighten up your abs. If you slouch forward or lean on one leg, this can cause a bulge of fat around the stomach area to protrude.
- Relax the shoulders. Keep your shoulders relaxed and down rather than hunched up to your ears. This will help keep them from rounding forward over time which can cause aches and pains in the back from carrying excess weight all day long.
- Keep your weight evenly distributed on both feet. You will want to focus on keeping equal pressure on both sides of each foot so that you do not develop an imbalance in muscle strength and endurance, which can lead to injury over time.
- Maintain a slight bend in both knees at all times when standing or walking — even if it means bending just a little more than usual — but never allow yourself to completely lock into place even when sitting down. Keeping a slight bend will help keep your muscles active and prepared for any potential activity or movement.
Postural issues can develop when we let ourselves and our health go, and spend countless hours slouched in front of a screen. Good posture has to be relearned through proper exercises and mental awareness of your body’s positions. With the techniques mentioned above, you can easily start seeing improvements in a span of few weeks.