You’ve probably never thought about it until now, but your posture says a lot about you as a person. We never developed poor posture overnight. Overtime our bodies have adjusted to modern-day life, sitting all day, slouching over our phones, and leaning on one leg. All of which are things that we do subconsciously, without even realising. Nevertheless, they’re not doing us any favours for our health and posture!
Why does it matter? Take a look:
The negatives of poor posture
- Pain and stiffness: Poor posture forces our bodies into an unnatural position. This results in our muscles straining and stretching unnecessarily, especially in the lower back. This leads to unwanted pain and stiffness, similar to that of when you sleep on a hard/uncomfortable surface.
- Lead to more serious injuries in the future: As previously mentioned poor posture forces our body into an unnatural position. Now I won’t pretend to know all the science behind it, because I don’t. However what I do know, is that the strained muscles, and stress on the lumbar (Lower back) only increases your chance of more serious injuries in later life.
- Mood and motivation: This comes as a bit of a snowball effect, constant pain, and discomfort will intern lead to mood swings, a general poor mood, and decreased motivation.
- Poor digestion: As far-fetched as it sounds, poor posture can have a negative effect on our digestive system. How? When we slouch we are putting unwanted pressure onto our digestive organs, which as a result slows down, and can damage the digestive system.
What poor posture looks like:
As you can see from the image above, a good posture consists of rolled back shoulders, chest up, and head pointing forwards. Pretty simple, right? Unfortunately for us, it’s easier said than done to reverse years of poor posture. So how do we do it?
How to improve your posture
Walk it out: If your profession consists lots of sitting, then you may want to take regular breaks to get up from the chair, and stretch it out! This can be a couple of lengths of the office, a couple of light stretches followed up by a walk, or regular trips to the coffee machine. Any excuse to get out of working…
Invest in a good chair: Ergonomics is how comfortable and efficient people are in the workplace, this includes how people sit, and a properly adjusted work-top to prevent strained eyes. My point being that improved ergonomics will lead to better posture. One such way of doing this, is to invest in a comfortable, yet ergonomic chair. Do yourself favour!
Strengthen your core: Strengthening your core, and abdominal muscles is essential to maintaining a solid posture. By doing so our core, and abdominal muscles are able to engage, naturally bring our posture back to where it should be.
Yoga: The stigma around yoga and Pilates in particular, is that it’s just for women. However, that is defiantly not the case. In fact well-known celebrities and public figures such as Ryan Giggs and Russell Brand have publicly announced their participation in yoga, or Pilates.
So, what’s the idea behind it? Yoga and Pilates although different in concept, they both stretch, and strengthen our muscles around the spinal column, and core, helping us to improve our posture. In addition yoga is known for its additional emotional and mental benefits.
Only sleep with one pillow: Many people like to sleep on a mountain of pillows, although the truth is, that each pillow you add, only puts our head into a more unnatural position. A position which we will spend 7-9 hours a day, succumbed to. A simple mistake, with an easy fix.
In conclusion a poor posture is almost inevitable in modern-day life…unless you know what to do about it. From prolonged sitting, and a sedentary lifestyle, our spine and the muscles surrounding it take a beating. Thus resulting in poor posture. The solution is simply taking precautions to help ourselves out. Such as: sitting up straight (Which I’m trying to do right now…) , taking regular breaks from sitting, and stretching out, and training our muscles to help support our spine and lower back. In return you’ll be rewarded with a loose, and pain-free back, allowing you to take full advantage your good health.