‘Stand straight’, ‘sit upright’, and ‘don’t slouch’! These are some things we have heard over and over from parents and elders for all our growing years. There’s a fair reason for that. Having the correct posture makes a world of difference in not only your physical health but also affects how you look and feel. A good posture is as essential as a good diet, sleep and exercise regime. As kids, we have our parents to correct us when we are not mindful of our postures. But, as we get older and tend to get busier, we don’t pay enough attention to it. Unknowingly, we ourselves inflict future body pains because we don’t sit or stand straight while doing our day to day activities
What is a bad posture?
- When you are working, if your screen is not at eye level, you tend to bend your neck lower. This causes stress on your neck
- When you are sitting in your chair, if you are sinking into your seat or your back is rounded it puts pressure on your neck, back and shoulders
- When you are standing or walking, if your shoulders are rounded and weight isn’t evenly distributed on both legs, it indicates a bad posture
How does one ensure a good posture?
Maintaining a good posture should not be a constant worry or task. Our bodies have been aligned to maintain a correct posture but due to our lifestyle, it has been compromised. To begin with, you need to be aware of your posture but once you get used to it, you automatically adopt a good posture.
- When sitting on a chair, ensure that your feet are resting on the floor or footrest and not hanging mid-air. Let your back be supported by the backrest. Your knees should be at or below your hip level. Your shoulders, knees and hips should be at even heights and your feet should point straight ahead.
- While standing it is very important that your weight is every distributed on both feet while your feet are 4-5 inches apart. Your back and shoulders should not be rounded and your stomach should be tucked in.
Benefits of a good posture
- Reduces pain in your muscles and joints: When you have a good posture, all your bones are in proper alignment and no single joint has to bear any extra stress. This alleviates your most common pains that occur in your neck, back, knees, etc
- Improves circulation and digestion: When your stomach is contracted because of sitting incorrectly, it can interfere with your gastrointestinal tract flow. If you sit correctly, you give your digestive organs enough space to function perfectly.
- Improves breathing: If you tend to slump while sitting, your rib cage collapses a little. This leaves less room for your lungs to expand in your chest. With the correct posture, your lungs fill more and help you breathe better.
- Improves memory and concentration: When you breathe better, your brain gets more oxygen. This helps to boost your memory and concentration.
- Makes you look and feel confident: A person who slouches or doesn’t have a good posture doesn’t look presentable or confident. When you stand straight and look sharp, you feel and exude confidence. This elevates your mood too.