Good posture is essential to a healthy lifestyle, but it is something that we often overlook. We sit hunched over a keyboard all day, or we slouch as we are waiting in line at the grocery store. We then go to bed with an aching back or a stiff neck. To learn how it feels to stand with correct posture, stand with your back to a wall. Your shoulder blades, buttocks and heels should touch the wall. Your ears, shoulders, hips and knees should all be aligned in order to distribute your weight evenly. When you are sitting in a chair, your hips should be as far back in the chair as possible, and keep your feet flat on the floor. You will soon feel and see the benefits of good posture.
1. Reduce Back Pain
When we slouch, our spine is not aligned properly. Proper spinal alignment will distribute your weight correctly throughout your body, which will reduce chances of injury. Poor posture causes imbalances that put stress on your shoulders, neck, back, and legs as they try to compensate for the spine. This can lead to back pain, tension in the neck and shoulders and poor circulation.
2. Improve your Breathing
When your spine is allowed to curve naturally, your core muscles have more freedom to move. This includes your respiratory muscles, such as the diaphragm. Slouching restricts the diaphragm’s space that it needs to expand. This results in shallower breaths and slower circulation. Good posture allows your respiratory system to work at its full potential. You will feel more alert and think more clearly.
3. Appear Slimmer
When you slouch, your shoulders sag and your stomach is pushed outwards. This can make you look heavier than you actually are. Proper posture has the opposite effect. When you stand correctly, your waist is more defined, and your stomach is pulled in toward your abs. This can make you appear slimmer by as much as 5 to 10 pounds.
4. Appear More Confident
When you slouch, it looks as though you are trying to hide or take up as little space as possible. It appears that you are uncomfortable with the people around you or your current situation. People who have good posture appear confident and self-assured. They seem to be in control of themselves and their surroundings. A confident stance will help both your professional and personal lives.
If you are just beginning to improve your posture, allow time for your muscles to adjust to the change. It may seem uncomfortable at first, but you will soon notice the benefits of standing and sitting properly.