Why good posture matters to your health

You may think having good posture doesn’t have much to do with your health, but in reality, it has everything to do with how we look, feel, walk, and project ourselves to the rest of the world. 

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For many of us, good posture does not come naturally.  Were you ever told as a kid, “Sit up straight.  Quit slouching!”  As annoying as it was, it was good advice.  When we stand or sit slouched or hunched over, our body and certainly our back is taking the brunt of being out of alignment.  Improper alignment of the body affects our ease of movement, flexibility, muscle strength, along with proper positioning of the spine.

However, poor posture can be brought on by several reasons:

·      Low self-esteem     

·      Weak muscles

·      Genetics

·      Stress

·      Unsupportive shoes

·      Accidents or injuries

·      Being overweight

·      Unsupportive mattress

·      Foot problems

Poor posture is hard on the body.  Here is how it can affect you:

·      It can strain muscles and ligaments injuring you making day to day activities like carrying in groceries, more difficult to do.

·      Increases wear and tear on joint surfaces which may contribute to the beginnings of osteoarthritis.

·      Narrows the space between vertebrae increasing the risk of compressed nerves.

·      Can lead to rounded shoulders, protruding abdomen and buttocks, overly arched lower back and where the head is pushed forward in an exaggerated position. 

Understanding how poor posture affects us should make us all sit up straight and take notice. 

Good posture has a much more positive and healthy effect on the body – here’s why:

·      You will immediately project self-confidence and self-assurance by standing or sitting up straight and tall.  Think of one person you know who oozes those qualities – do they slouch?  Most likely not.  Try standing hunched over in front of a mirror and then stand up straight.  There is quite the difference in how we look.

·      Good posture leads to better circulation and digestion.  It’s speculated that when people slouch digestive issues from constipation to acid reflux may occur. When we stand with good posture, the internal organs are not being compressed allowing normal functioning of the digestive system.

·      Want an immediate way to look younger and like you’ve lost five pounds?  Practice good posture.  Your clothes will fit better too.

·      Standing straight and tall allows breathing to become easier and deeper.  There’s a reason why a doctor tells you to sit up straight when they listen to lung sounds.

·      Our bones, muscles, and joints will have much less stress and strain on them when proper posture is practiced.  Good posture forms correct alignment reducing wear on joint surfaces leading to arthritis and joint pain.  Our muscles will feel less strain from overuse which can result in less back and muscular pain. 

·      Your mood often reflects what your posture is like.  Feeling depressed or in chronic pain, causes us to slouch whereas feelings of happiness tend to lead to better posture.  When feeling anxious or depressed, sit or stand up straight with good posture, taking slow, deep breathes.  It calms your mind helping you relax and better able to handle tough situations. 

Starting today, learn how to correctly stand and sit up with good posture and watch yourself feel and look better immediately.