The Benefits of Good Posture
By Sara Butler
You’ve probably heard it a thousand times over the course of your life – stand up straight! Your mom or your grandmother weren’t just telling you this in order to be annoying; your posture has a lot more to do with your health than you may realize. Here are some of the ways in which practicing good posture can benefit you.
Have you ever wondered why posture was so darned important? There are several reasons why.
If you practice poor posture you could experience neck pain, upper back pain, low back pain and even pain in your arms and legs. When you don’t move your body as it was meant to move it can put stress on your spine and extremities, leading to pain and even more serious issues over time such as disc degeneration.
Posture has more influence on your overall health than you might think. Proper body mechanics is something everyone should be familiar with in order to protect your health and spine!
Over the course of a day you probably spend a lot of time on your feet. All the standing, reaching, bending and carrying you do in a day can be hard on your back if you’re not doing it right. To minimize your risk of injury:
- Don’t stand in one position for a long time – Change up the way you’re standing as often as you are able to in order to relieve stress on your spine and increase circulation.
- Think about your posture – One of the best things you can do for your posture is just be aware of it! That way you can catch yourself slouching and take steps to correct the problem.
- Think about where you’re standing – You should try to stand in a place that is level and firm.
- Find some support – If it’s possible you should try to find something to lean on for support. This helps to reduce muscle fatigue from long periods of standing.
Sitting also requires you to think about your body mechanics, especially if you work a desk job that requires sitting for several hours a day. To protect your back:
- Practice good sitting posture – Your feet should be flat on the floor, your chin should be tucked down a bit and your ears should be over your shoulders. The back of your chair should support your lower and upper back.
- Have an ergonomically correct workstation – You need a good chair that fits your body and is the correct height. If it has armrests they should be positioned so that your arms can rest on them comfortably as your work. Adjustable lumbar supports are also a must.
You should also make sure you move around a lot during the day. Get up at least once an hour to move around and stretch for just a couple of minutes.
If you have questions about your posture, your chiropractor is an excellent resource!