Posture is important for a variety of reasons that you probably heard of growing up. As you get older, your posture tends to become less formal and you may slouch without even noticing, which poses a problem for your muscles in the long run. However, bad posture isn’t just a sign of laziness. It could be a result from back pain or other back issues. The good news is that you can learn to fix your posture on your own simply by paying attention to it.
Why Is Posture Important?
Children are taught to stand and sit up straight to maintain good posture. Many of us thought this was just something adults told us as another reason to give a lecture. The truth is that standing and sitting up straight builds strong muscles and paves the road for a healthy frame throughout life.
Posture can also be important for success. Successful people are those that walk tall and upright, which exudes confidence. Those that slouch may be seen as less formal or lazy and that could be a problem in the work force.
Signs of Bad Posture
Many people suffer from the effects of bad posture and may not even realize it. Poor posture can lead to an unnatural positioning of your spine that puts your vertebrae into uncomfortable positions. This can cause upper and lower back pain, as well neck and shoulder pain. Even headaches are a result of poor posture. Here are the visible signs:
There are a number of contributing factors to postural dysfunction (detrimental poor posture) such as lack of awareness of poor posture, sedentary lifestyle, occupational demands, stiff joints, decreased activity, and muscle tightness.
How to Correct It
The first thing to do is to check out your posture. Stand and sit in front of a mirror and look at the alignment of your body. You can relate your posture to the pictures above to get a better idea of what good posture looks like.
People who sit at a desk all day and work on a computer tend to have poor posture and slouch over to reach their keyboard. Try sitting back more in your chair and elevate your knees instead of sinking them downward. You may even want to try sitting on a seat cushion or use a lumbar cushion to help improve the way you sit.
Another way to help with bad posture is to stretch when you get up. After sitting or lying down for a long period of time, try stretching out your arms and back when you stand up (there’s a reason why cats and dogs do it)!
Last, but not least, you can also try strengthening your core to improve your posture. Practicing Yoga and Pilates are both good ways to stretch out your body, gain strength in your core, and practice controlled movements.
While people don’t put as much emphasis on posture as they get older, it’s an important thing to pay attention to. Correcting it may take some getting used to and may be slightly uncomfortable at first, but it will keep you from really harming body in the future.