7 Benefits of good posture – And how to maintain it

7 Benefits of good posture – And how to maintain it

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.

Breathe release stress

 

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:

Journey to healing and recovery
Poor desk posture

Top Tips For Maintaining a Good Posture.

FirstNotice 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?

Blossoming Me offers a fully integrated approach to your wellbeing. Located on Sydney’s Upper North Shore. Alexis our qualified Osteopath, offers a drug free, minimally invasive, “hands on” treatment focusing on the musculoskeletal system with its associated muscles, tendons, ligaments, membranes, bones and joints. Alexis takes a functional approach. This means that she focuses on the way a component (body part, tissue or group of tissues) performs its role, as well as the way the body works, performs and integrates as a whole.

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.

8 reasons why poor posture is harmful for your health

8 reasons why poor posture is harmful for your health

Most of us would agree that during childhood, the reminders to ‘sit up straight’ and ‘don’t slouch’ were countless. The truth is that we also need these reminders regularly in adulthood. Activities like sitting at a desk all day, Netflix and chill time, high-heel shoes and looking down at a smartphone are likely harming your posture.

This blog highlights 8 reasons why poor posture is harmful for your health.

What is Posture?

“Posture” describes the positioning of your body, when you’re sitting, standing, walking and lying down. It refers to how your head, shoulders, spine, hips, knees and ankles are lining up, and how they relate to each other.

 

What is Good Posture?

When your body is in a healthy postural position, it’s aligned. This means that the natural forces of gravity are effectively distributed throughout your muscles, ligaments and tendons (with minimal energy usage). Thus, no one structure is over stressed, reducing the risk of muscle strains and joint pains.

Good posture enables you to move easily, maximising your flexibility as well as the strength of your muscles. It helps you to maintain concentration and work productively. You’ll feel less fatigued, because you’re losing less energy due to compensating for strains present in your body’s ligaments, joints and muscles. This enables your vital organs and nervous system to function effectively.

Breathe release stress

Look at a young child (around the age of 2 years old) for a fabulous example of what ‘good posture’ and movement look like. You will notice the three main curves of their spine forms an ‘S’ shape. The cervical curve develops when they start to lift their head. The lumbar curve, when they begin to walk. And the third curve, the thoracic curve, goes in the opposing direction, joining the set of three to form the ‘S’ shape. This shape in the spine is vitally important, as it is the basis of its suspension, and creates the magical and crucial combination of flexibility and strength.

Journey to healing and recovery

What is poor posture?

When you have “poor posture” you’re essentially out of alignment. Some of your muscles have to work harder to keep you upright, which causes imbalances and can lead to stresses, strains and tiredness.

So let’s delve into the 8 Health Issues caused by Poor Posture:

1) Headaches

Are commonly caused by straining our head, neck, jaw and upper back muscles.

 

2) Jaw pain can be caused by a forward head posture

Forward head posture, causes strain in at least the neck and suboccipital muscles. This can overwork or overload your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), resulting in pain and potentially leading to further pain and difficulties with the jaw and surrounding areas.

 

3) Back pain is a common consequence

It can become chronic, impeding your ease and range of movement, ultimately reducing your quality of life.

self care acupressure points

4) Spine Curvature

Poor posture over time will cause the natural curvature of your spine to change shape. This can impact all facets of your body, as your spine’s natural function as a shock absorber will deteriorate.

 

5) Shoulder pain

Also commonly occurs, particularly from a forward, hunched posture. This stresses the rotator cuff muscles and tendons, in particular, which can get pinched, or potentially torn. This can lead to significant pain and weakness in the shoulder.

6) Hip, knee and foot pain

Can be caused by poor alignment of either hip, knee or foot, or all of them. This misalignment can lead to muscle weakness, tightness and lack of flexibility. Ultimately resulting in strains and pain. Examples include “sciatica” or sciatic pain, and plantar fasciitis.

 

7) Tiredness, breathing and digestive problems

Can all be caused by poor posture. As can a pot belly appearance. Issues such as slouching or any level of kyphosis that restricts your rib cage, compresses your diaphragm and other internal organs. Making it harder for your lungs to inhale a full breath and exhale it completely. Which can lead to shallow breathing and respiratory issues, increased stress levels, lack of energy, fatigue or tiredness. Ultimately affecting your productivity. It can even make it hard for your intestines to digest food effectively, which can further lead to digestive disorders.

 

8) Bad Mood

A study from the journal Health Psychology found that people who sat with a slumped posture exhibited more negative moods, more fear, and lower self-esteem than those who sat upright. (refer to your teacher was right blog).

No one wants to be in pain, or have their posture likened to the third guy in the evolution of man. So take care of your posture, seek support to learn the correct exercises and postural alignments for your body, and you’ll find a multitude of health benefits will follow.

Where to seek help to improve your posture?

BlossomingMe offers a fully integrated approach to your wellbeing. Located on Sydney’s Upper North Shore, our qualified Osteopath, remedial masseuse and health and lifestyle coaches will be able to support you to improve your posture and therefore your overall health.