Growing up our mothers told us time and time again to stand up straight and not to slouch. Often the immediate reason that comes to us as to why we should have good posture is simply because it looks better. While this is true, there are also many other reasons why it is important to maintain good posture.
GOOD POSTURE MAKES YOU LOOK AND FEEL MORE CONFIDENT
Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror while slouching over and then compared it to how you look standing straight up? If you do, then you will notice a significant difference in how you look and how you feel. Standing up straight and tall also affects the way others perceive us. Standing up straight and tall causes others to perceive us as taking a more authoritative and dominant stance – it is a power pose that displays our confidence in ourselves and causes others to see us the same way.
GOOD POSTURE CAN ELIMINATE AND PREVENT NECK AND BACK PAIN
Having good posture means that your body is properly aligned, and your bones and spine are evenly supporting the weight of your body. However, when your posture is not correct it causes an uneven distribution of weight among your bones and spine, which causes neck and back pain. By changing your posture, you could eliminate your current neck and back pain or prevent yourself from getting neck and back pain.
GOOD POSTURE MAKES IT EASIER TO BREATH
The reason for this one is simple. In order for your lungs to work properly, they need room to expand and fill with air. When your posture is correct, your lungs have enough room to work properly and efficiently. However, when your posture is not correct, and you are slouched over, there is less room within your chest for your lungs to expand and fill with air. This will make breathing more difficult as your lungs will have to work harder.
GOOD POSTURE IMPROVES BRAIN FUNCTION
Having good posture improves the function of your brain all around – it improves both memory and learning, improves your mood, and improves your concentration and mental performance. The reason good posture improves your memory and learning is likely linked to the fact that good posture improves your breathing, and when your body is able to take in more oxygen your brain performs better. Studies on students have shown that those students who sit with the best posture score higher on tests than those who sit slouched over. The reason for the increased brain functioning is likely due to the increase in testosterone hormones and the decrease of cortisol (stress hormones) that are released when our posture is correct.
GOOD POSTURE MAKES YOU APPEAR TO BE TALLER AND SLIMMER
Having good posture improves the way you look overall because when your posture is correct, your body’s bones and weight are aligned and distributed evenly. When you stand up straight and tall you instantly appear to be slimmer than what you actually are. When you slouch over, your stomach will often be pushed out, causing you to look larger than you are. You will also appear to be shorter than what you really are when you are slouched over.
HOW TO KNOW IF YOUR POSTURE IS CORRECT
- When you are standing up, your ears, shoulders, hips, and ankles should all be aligned vertically. Your knees should be straight, but not locked.
- One trick you can use as an indication of whether you are standing up straight is to drop your hands to your sides – if your thumbs are pointing forward your posture is good, if the back of your hands are facing forward you may need to readjust your stance.
- Proper sitting posture requires that your feet are planted firmly on the floor with your knees and hips bent at a 90-degree angle. Your shoulders should be rolled back. When in a proper sitting stance your ears, shoulders, and hips should all be directly aligned with each other.
- Whether sitting or standing, when your posture is correct your chin should be parallel to the floor.
- Proper posture while sleeping depends on the position in which you sleep. It is recommended that you use a pillow to keep your cervical spine in a neutral position and to avoid sleeping on your stomach. If you sleep on your side, you can use a pillow in between your legs, and if you sleep on your back, you can use the pillow under your knees.