If you were ever told to “sit up straight” it was probably in the context of a social event and went hand in hand with “your best behavior”. Good posture is something that can take practice, and with our reliance on screens and mobile devices, it’s even easier to develop a slouching habit. Does it matter though? As a matter of fact, it does.
Posture is the way that your body is aligned when you are sitting, standing, or even lying down. Good posture puts the least amount of stress and strain on your muscles and joints. So while good posture is best for our bodies, it’s not always the position that we practice. Posture is something that you can start changing now though, and we’ve got five ways to get you started.
You should be sitting straight, shoulders relaxed but not hunched or rounded, knees level, sitting back so that your chair supports your spine. Also, make sure that your head is back with your ears aligned with your shoulders. If you work at a desk, keeping your computer screen at eye level can help keep your neck in alignment.
Avoid Tech Neck
Many of us spend large portions of our day looking down at our smartphones or tablets, and this has led to a condition known as “Tech Neck”. Tilting your head down to check messages or use your phone causes strain on your neck muscles over time, impacting your posture. Instead, try to use your device at eye height, or take a moment to stretch your neck muscles and relax the strain.
Just because you’re standing up, that doesn’t mean you are standing straight. Stand with your shoulder relaxed and pulled slightly back, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your knees should be slightly bent, your stomach tucked in, your head level, and your weight back on your heels.
Stronger muscles support good posture, and exercise leads to stronger muscles and overall health. It’s a win-win! Try focusing on posture while you’re out walking, or try taking up yoga or pilates.
Stretch it out
Stretching releases tension in muscles strained by poor posture and helps your body relax. Exercises that also stretch your muscles, like Child’s Pose, are excellent for helping you practice good posture.
Correcting bad posture can take practice and even a little work, but it’s well worth the effort. By improving your posture you can look forward to reduced neck and back pain, less stress and anxiety, and even better breathing. Correct posture allows your body to function better, so why not give it a try?