Let's Set it Straight: Posture is Everything March 29 2017
Posture plays a major role in how you look and feel throughout the day as well as in terms of your overall health. Maintaining good posture can not only keep you from developing back pain and other musculoskeletal discomforts but also can improve your mood, productivity at work and help battle fatigue. Bad posture can affect your breathing, inhibit certain bodily functions and cause GERD (reflux) symptoms. When comparing the consequences of bad posture versus the benefits of good posture, it’s easy to see how important it can be to your health and everyday life.
Your feet are the foundation of your body, so ensuring a strong stance or keeping your feet on the floor while you work at a desk can contribute to better posture. Your whole body is affected when the foundation of your stance is weakened as your body strains to compensate for this change. In addition to stance, overwork and strain can weaken our posture. By using ergonomic products and staying committed to standing up straight, you can realign your spine and improve the way your body functions overall.
How Should I Sit or Stand to Maintain Good Posture?
When standing up straight, your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles should be in line. Relax your knees and shoulders into what seems natural while following this guideline, as you shouldn’t be stiff. If standing for long periods of time, shift your weight back and forth while remaining in line.
When sitting, push your hips as far back as possible against the chair with your knees level with your hips. Ensure you have the correct lower back support, preferably with an ergonomic chair. Your desk should be at the height of your elbows with your back supported enough so you don’t have to lean forward. Keep hips and shoulders parallel.
What About When I’m Lying Down?
Choose a firm mattress and aim to sleep on your back. If sleeping on your stomach, place a pillow underneath you to ease the pressure. If sleeping on your side, place a pillow between your knees to align your spine.
Good posture can improve your musculoskeletal health, preventing back, neck and shoulder pain or discomfort. However, there’s so much more to gain with good posture including boosting confidence, morale and energy. You will look taller, slimmer and more confident. Your mental and physical health will improve with diligence and the right ergonomic products at your side. You can achieve these benefits of good posture on a daily basis and carry those benefits into the future of your health.
Feature Photo by Joe Loong
Posture Cartoon by Beth Scupham