“Sit up straight” is probably something you heard a lot as a kid – and with good reason. When you stand or sit, with good posture, it keeps your body healthy and looking its best. Good posture isn’t just a nagging command from etiquette tyrants. There are real benefits to holding your body in proper alignment. Read on to learn what they are.
1. Better breathing
Research shows that poor posture negatively affects your ability to breathe deeply and fill your lungs. Slouching shortens the muscles at the front of your body and reduces your ability to breathe in fully. Standing up tall may actually improve your ability to bring in good old oxygen by as much as 30%.
2. Super self-confidence
When you stand up tall, you have a presence that’s noticed by others. You look confident, self-assured, and poised. Slouching and slumping communicate a sad demeanor and a lack of self-esteem.
3. Back relief
Your body is designed to stand in a “neutral” position in which your pelvis, head, and torso are in a stacked position. Forward head, tilted hips, and overly curved spines put stress on muscles in ways they aren’t designed to endure. And, over the long term, this stress causes pain – usually in your back. When you have good posture, you use the muscles that support your spine properly. Plus, the bones, joints, ligaments, and other connective tissue also all cooperate to keep the entirety of your back feeling less strained and stressed. Standing and sitting with good posture uses your muscles in the way they were designed, so your body – especially your back – feels better.
4. Improved mood
Your posture affects your mood. Think of how a person looks when depressed – slouched and slumped with shoulders that hunch and a head that hangs. When you feel relaxed and happy, you naturally find an upright, open posture. If you’re feeling down, stand up, pull your shoulders back, and lift your face. This simple action can help you feel more optimistic.
5. Optimal digestion
When you have good posture, your internal organs align well. That means less compression on your stomach, intestines, and liver, facilitating the free flow of food and digestive juices. A slouched posture inhibits the normal activity of your gastrointestinal system, which makes you vulnerable to digestive distress – including constipation and GERD.
6. Look skinnier
Good posture can make you look up to 10 pounds thinner. Poor posture can create the appearance of a pot belly and a thicker middle. Stand or sit up tall, and lengthen your frame – the pounds distribute more evenly and make you look more slender.
7. Reduced headaches
Dropping your head and dropping your shoulders can create unnecessary tension that contributes to headaches. Research shows that people who have a posture featuring a forward head tend to have more headaches, and they last longer than people who have good posture.
8. Greater function as you age
Your posture affects how your body ages. If you stand with poor posture, it causes stress on connective tissues – especially at your joints – that can make you feel achy and stiff as you age. Good posture throughout a lifetime can keep you feeling mobile as you get older. As an added bonus, you also look younger.
9. Boosted energy
Slouching takes work. Your muscles have to work harder when they’re in an unnatural position, which makes them fatigue faster. With good posture, you don’t waste energy as your muscles are being used efficiently.
10. Improved concentration
The improved oxygen flow that comes with good posture positively affects your brain. The neurons in your brain appreciate the nutrients that come with increased circulation that’s facilitated by good posture too. When your brain’s neurons are nurtured, they fire more effectively – keeping you sharp and on task.
Regular chiropractic adjustments can help put your body in balance and support good posture. Source: dmc-healthcare