Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and realised your posture appears a little too similar to The Hunchback of Notre-Dame?
Well, it isn’t too late to improve your posture and subsequently your overall health. Sustaining a good posture is an important part of your physical and mental health. It ensures your bones are well aligned with the rest of the body. As Moriehei Ueshiba states:
“A good stance and posture reflects a proper state of mind”.
So let’s examine 7 benefits of good posture and how you can improve your posture today.
Good Posture Benefits:
1) Promotes better breathing and helps you remain mentally alert. It can increase the amount of oxygen you inhale. While slouching would reduce it.
2) Improves your circulation and digestion. Your blood vessels (circulatory system) and digestive organs can function effectively. When you have correct posture, there’s no unnecessary compression or constriction inhibiting functionality. Examples of digestive issues connected to posture include: heartburn, indigestion and reflux; gastritis; and constipation.
3) Creates a strong, healthy spine. It does this by supporting and maintaining your intricate muscles, nerves and blood vessels, around and to, the vertebrae.
4) Strengthens muscles and joints by minimising wear and tear. Correct alignment optimises muscle function, allowing strength of muscles and stability in joints. This also reduces the risk of degenerative arthritis and joint pain. It also reduces the stress on the ligaments holding your spinal joints together, minimising the likelihood of injury.
5) Boosts confidence and makes you look smarter. Have you ever noticed how leaders and celebrities walk across a stage? The confidence in a stride comes from a good posture. This not only impacts how you look on the outside, but also how you feel on the inside. An upright posture will help you look slimmer, smarter, and carry yourself with an aura of elegance and confidence.
6) Improves your state of mind – Your body’s posture reflects your mental and emotional state. A bizarre concept right? The body mind connection is immense. Body language actually sends signals to your brain about how you’re feeling. So, you can transform your state of mind by improving your posture.
7) Communicates to others about you!
How you hold your body is often referred to as body language. Body language, or posture, can tell others more about you than words alone. Sitting or standing up straight when speaking are powerful and confident stances. Slouching or a stooped posture displays the opposite.
Did you know that straight posture also communicates how interested you may be in what another person is saying? And how much you value the conversation?
With the multitude of benefits of having good posture, you may be wondering how you can maintain a healthy posture for yourself? So, to help you on this journey here are our top tips:
Top Tips For Maintaining a Good Posture.
First – Notice your posture throughout the day. An easy way to do this is to ‘monitor’ it whenever you swap to a new activity. Good posture should feel natural. Be careful not to overcorrect yourself while establishing this new “proper posture” habit.
Stand up and move around every 30 minutes to an hour if you have a desk job. This works well in combination with the pomodoro technique. Movement can relieve muscle strain and improve breathing, circulation, attention and productivity. As you do this, take a moment to notice your posture.
Adjust your chair height so both of your feet can comfortably touch the floor. Keep your knees at the same level or lower than your hips. This encourages your back to straighten.
Keyboard – have this adjusted to be at elbow height, to allow your wrists to stay straight and relaxed as you type.
Computer monitor – Place laptops or tablets on a platform, to bring them up to eye level.
Mobile phone – hold at eye level so you can keep your head up. Use a hand-free device for lengthy calls or viewing.
The Chair – Sit back against the back of the chair. If it does not support your lower back, use a small pillow, rolled up towel or invest in a lumbar support cushion. This applies to car seats too!
Walking – When you walk, hold your head high and look forward, not at the ground. Roll your foot from heel to toe as smoothly as possible. Keeping back straight up, pulling from the highest point of your head. Keep your shoulders moving naturally, elbows slightly bent, and let your arms swing freely. Core Muscles activate when standing and walking correctly.
Lifting – Keep your back straight and bend at your hips and knees, rather than your waist, to keep your upper back from rounding. If you’re carrying a pint-sized human or pet for prolonged periods, alternate sides regularly.
Reconsider your footwear if you regularly wear high heels. Walking in heels is essentially walking on your toes, which is not a normal body movement. High heels cause tight calves, knees to hyperextend, the pelvis to tip forward, lower back muscles to tighten, and your core muscles to become weak. Shorter, wider heels can help better distribute your weight. Top tip – If you wear heels, remember to keep your core muscles activated (for as long as possible).
Having the correct posture will holistically support your mental, emotional and physical health. It helps you look better, feel more confident and suffer less pain.
What does your posture say about you?
Our remedial masseuse and health and lifestyle coach Sarah, offers complimentary support to help relieve those problematic knots, tightness and other specific ailments to promote a healthy recovery. These alternate massage therapies can be combined to suit your needs, including: shiatsu, acupressure, reiki, body mind massage or swedish. Our team will be able to support you to improve your posture and therefore your overall health.