Having good posture is an important part of remaining healthy. It helps you avoid back pain and premature wear on your bones, improves lung performance, and much more. In this article, we will explain what good posture is before explaining the many benefits that it provides.
What is good posture?
Posture is the form that your body takes when you are sitting, standing, and laying down. Maintaining “good” posture is positioning your body so there is less strain placed upon your body’s muscles and ligaments when in these positions.
It requires your body to be as close to its natural shape as possible. So if you are sitting down, this would mean:
- Keeping your chin up and looking forward
- Keeping your shoulders back (not slouching)
- Bending your knees at a right angle
- Keeping your feet flat on the floor
- Keeping your back straight enough that all 3 natural curves of the spine are present.
Sitting with good posture distributes weight more evenly across your muscle groups — helping you avoid neck, shoulder and back pain. It also allows you to comfortably work for longer periods and avoid some serious long-term health problems.
Having a chair with lumbar support will help you maintain good back posture.
What are the benefits of good posture?
Protects your future health
Having good posture will keep your joints correctly aligned, protecting the joint surfaces from abnormal wear-and-tear. By preventing this type of wear-and-tear, you can lower your risk of various illnesses including arthritis and postural hunchback.
It makes it easier to breathe
The diaphragm is a large muscle that is responsible for respiration. When the diaphragm moves, it changes how much pressure there is within the thorax — causing air to either enter or exit the lungs.
Posture affects breathing because it changes how much room the diaphragm has to move. If you are slouched in a chair or while walking, the diaphragm cannot contract or expand as easily, preventing you from taking deep breaths. As soon as you correct your posture, you will immediately notice how much easier it is to breathe. This is a particularly useful benefit for anyone who has a health condition that affects their breathing.
Can help prevent back pain
Developing good posture can eliminate back pain caused by stressed muscles and poor joint alignment. It does so by actively reducing the strain placed on the muscles and joints by spreading weight across the entire body. This ensures that certain muscles or joints are not overworked or damaged.
Over time, having good posture will even improve the alignment of your spine, which will improve the condition of your back and reduce the risk of back injuries. You will be less likely to suffer from herniated discs, muscle strains or other back problems.
Improved physical performance
Good posture requires the use of more muscle groups. Not only does this reduce the chances of straining a single muscle, it can lead to an improvement in overall physical performance. Having the ability to engage muscles more evenly will help you perform better during daily activities and any sports that you play.
Strengthens the core
If you have already made improvements to your sitting posture, you will have noticed that your abdominal muscles feel more engaged. Your abdominals will be “sharing the load” with your back muscles as they keep your torso stable. The more you improve your posture, the stronger your core will get, thus improving the alignment of your spine, reducing stress on your back muscles, and improving your mobility.
Makes you look more attractive
Have you ever seen an actor or actress on a talk show? Did you notice how impeccable his or her posture was? Actors and actresses concentrate on having good posture because they understand how much it affects their appearance. By sitting tall in their seat and keeping their chin up, they will look much more beautiful or handsome to the viewers at home. You will gain the same benefits as you improve your posture.
Improved digestion of food
Sitting or standing with good posture will ensure your internal organs are in their natural position. This makes it easier for the body to digest food and perform other important functions like maintaining good blood circulation.
Can improve your mood
Researchers from the University of San Francisco have discovered that having good posture can help improve a person’s mood. They found that improved posture could also increase energy levels and reduce the risk of mental illnesses like depression.
Improving your posture can deliver some amazing benefits to your health and lifestyle. If you are interested in developing good posture, talk to a chiropractor or general practitioner. You can also use online resources like NHS choices to learn more.