These days we rarely hear Grandma – or anyone else – telling us to sit up straight like they might have done years ago. And with the increasingly sedentary work and lifestyle most of us are living, bad posture seems to affect most of us. However, good posture certainly contributes to healthy living and here’s how.
- Good posture helps you to breathe properly. This ensures a good supply of oxygen in the body. Try inhaling deeply while slouching, then sit up straight and inhale. You’ll easily notice that the latter allows you to inhale much more deeply. When you have enough oxygen in your bloodstream you are much healthier.
- It helps your brain to function properly with better concentration and clarity of thought. Studies show that the brain needs 20% oxygen to perform optimally.
- Good posture improves your image. People look at you and think you are attractive, alert and healthy. When you see a person who constantly slouches, you’ll wonder if they are sick, in pain or feeling emotionally stressed.
- Sitting up straight improves your awareness of the environment around you. It is more likely to ensure no one sneaks up behind you to play a prank or for any other reason. If you slouch, you’ll be looking down and won’t notice things happening around you.
- Good posture improves your self confidence simply because you feel good about yourself. When others see you like that, they’ll me more likely to want to become friends and you’ll also be more likely to be given that job you want, or a raise.
- Bad posture leads to physical problems over time, such as a upper or lower back pain, headaches, neck aches, risk of a slipped disc and a feeling of pressure in your chest.
So what exactly is good posture?
One thing it is not is keeping your spine straight all the time. This is as bad as slouching. The spine has two natural curves to it: –
- The concave curve at the top, starting from the base of the head and ending at the shoulders
- Another concave curve from the middle/upper part of your back to the base of the spine
If you are standing properly your weight will be properly distributed over the balls of your feet, rather than the heels or toes and it will feel effortless to maintain.
How to get good posture
- Use an ergonomic chair that fits you
- Use proper lighting when working or reading; dim light makes you slouch
- Don’t lay down while watching television.
- Sit right back in your chair, which give you better back support
- Buy a seat cushion to support your back
- Use a firm mattress and orthopaedic pillow