As kids, we have all heard our parents and teachers asked us to sit up straight or stand straight. Well, if you have had made it a habit, it was for your own good. Proper posture matters and is very important for a growing body. Standing up straight allows your body to be more balanced and working on your balance will consequently make you better in your motor skills – be it lifting up something heavy or swinging the golf stick. Similarly, sitting up straight also improves your spinal flexibility and mirrors a well-balanced muscle and skeleton. The advantages of practicing a good posture show up later in life when people get prone to bent backs or pain in the spine.
So, what does proper posture mean?
- Your chin parallel to your feet/floor
- Even shoulders
- Straight/neutral spine
- Arms at the sides with your elbows even and straight
- Knees pointing ahead
- Braced abdominal muscles
- Body balanced equally on both feet
A proper posture also helps us in proper breathing, reduced risk of back or neck pain, improves our concentration and the overall well being. In-spite of all the advantages, people are lazy and most of us follow bad posture. Bad ergonomics would include several hours of sitting at one place or lying down and subsequently straining your muscles and joints. Dr. Roger Sperry, a Noble winners go on to state that “The more mechanically distorted a person is, the less energy is available for thinking, metabolism and healing”.
When we make a habit of slouching, we are essentially reducing our lung capacity by 30%. It is obvious that when the body receives less oxygen, the brain will not function to its full ability. Poor posture also makes people tired too easily. Since the spinal cord balances the majority of our body’s weight, practicing a bad posture will eventually move the weight to the wrong areas, making our muscles and ligaments work harder than they should have been. Over time, bad posture can permanently alter the way we are supposed to look while constricting nerves and causing chronic pain.
Some studies have even led to the fact that practicing the right posture can even be a way out of depression. An increased flow of oxygen to the brain will help us regain our self-confidence and get out of stress.
Now, what can you do to maintain a proper posture?
- Get a chair that’s ergonomically designed and supports your back right
- Get up and move as frequently as you can. Maintaining the same posture for too long can be devastating.
- Go for yoga or aerobics training. In fact, any kind of stretching and strengthening exercise will work.
- Get a body massage every now and often
- Be cautious how you sit at home or wait in a lie or lie on your bed
Standing tall can literally mean a better control of your life! Review your posture habits today!