Our posture can be an indication of your overall health. Sitting up straight is actually good for you. Mum was right. (Again).
Poor posture can put you at a greater risk of:
- Decreasing your breathing capacity
- Back and neck pain
- Athletic injury
It’s important to know what good posture looks like first of all. If you tend to slouch naturally, there is no point in throwing your body into an unnatural position, albeit in the opposite direction.
You need curves; between your neck and head (cervical), near your ribs (thoracic) and in your lower back/sacrum (lumbar).
You also need to be balanced – if you look in the mirror, your shoulders should be level, if you stand with your back to a wall, your shoulders should touch at the same spots and exert the same amount of pressure.
Sitting is just as important as standing. We spend far too long sitting, and in most cases slouching. Sit with your feet flat on the floor and your ears and elbow should be in a straight line; hips and knees at a 90 degree angle.
It is important to feed your muscles – they need oxygen just as much as fuel. Move frequently to keep the blood and oxygen flowing and the muscles loose and mobile.
If you feel yourself favouring one side, check with a health professional before it becomes a bad postural habit. Keep your abdominal muscles strong and keep active several days a week. You will feel more energised and be more likely to keep your posture neutral.
If you are not used to being in a more neutral position, it may feel strange at first. That’s okay, you are trying to change it. Let your body adjust. It took a long time to get to where you are so it may take a while to change postural habits. But it’s worth it.