How often do you remember to sit and stand with good posture? We’re betting that it’s not often. When you were a kid, you probably relied on the adults in your life to snap out a command to “sit up straight” whenever you started to slouch, but, as adults, that same reminder isn’t as easy to come by. And that’s a shame.
Good posture isn’t just an abstract concept that only concerns children. It’s absolutely vital to your health.
What Is Good Posture?
So, what exactly is good posture? The human body is naturally asymmetrical in the placement of organs and systems and, according to Sanford Health, posture is the way your muscles and skeleton hold your body erect. As for good posture, it’s the effort of placing your body in a “neutral” position so that your pelvis, trunk, and head are in their optimal position to work effectively and efficiently.
7 Benefits of Good Posture & Easy Practice Techniques
Besides helping you function optimally, good posture has innumerable benefits.
- Improved Breathing
A study by the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation revealed that bad posture can affect your breathing and lung capacity. The reason why is because of your frontal muscles and tendons. When you regularly slouch, these muscles become shortened, which decreases your body’s ability to take deep breaths. In fact, slumping in your seat or standing with rounded shoulders greatly decreases your ability to take in oxygen. By practicing good posture, you can improve your breathing ability by as much as 30%.
- Back Pain Relief
Back pain is a devastating problem. It’s a $50 billion industry and affects 80% of the population, according to the American Chiropractic Association. So, anything that can provide pack pain relief is an excellent idea. Proper posture helps to keep your bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles properly aligned, which can prevent and relieve your back pain. Plus, over time, good posture can change the anatomical characteristics of your spine, leading to less strain and more open vessels and nerves.
- Improved Muscle Health
Another way that proper posture provides pain relief is through strengthening your muscles. Improper posture places strain on already sensitized muscles and soft tissues. By sitting and standing correctly, you’ll strengthen your core, buttock muscles, and back extensions while relieving unnecessary tension. The reality is that good posture distributes the force of gravity evenly throughout your muscles, so no one structure is over-stressed.
- Improved Appearance
Bad posture just looks bad. Slumped shoulders give you the appearance of depression and a lack of confidence. A swayed back can make it look like you’re a few pounds heavier. And a bowed neck makes you look frumpy. Models, movie stars, and famous politicians all maintain good posture because they understand that it portrays power and confidence while also presenting your body to its best advantage. Plus, good posture can add an inch of more to your height.
- Decreased Fatigue & Depression
Research conducted by San Francisco State University revealed that “simply choosing to alter body posture to a more upright position can improve mood and energy levels.” The reality is that your posture has measurable affects on your optimism, energy, and even mood. The reason why is because your posture affects your state of mind, automatically. When you’re depressed, your shoulders automatically slump while when you’re relaxed or feeling happy, your posture tends to be upright and open. By changing your posture to reflect the state of mind you want, you can actually make it happen.
- Improved Circulation and Digestion
How you look on the outside is a reflection of what’s inside. This is especially true when it comes to your digestive system. Good posture helps to keep your internal organs, particularly those within your abdomen, in their natural position without undue compression. When you slouch, you can interfere with the normal flow and function of your gastrointestinal system. In fact, proper posture can help relieve such issues as acid reflux, constipation, and hernias.
- Improved Concentration
The average human brain has over 100 billion neurons and 1,000 trillion synaptic connections. These neurons and synapses are responsible for your memory concentration, and all information transmission in your brain. And these receptors are especially dependent on oxygen. By improving your posture, you open up your body to better oxygen and blood circulation, meaning that you’ll also improve your ability to concentrate and focus.
Making Good Posture Possible
So, since you don’t have parents or teachers to yell at you about your posture as an adult, what’s the solution to bad posture? The solution is to take out the middleman.
UPRIGHT is a simple product that you can wear for just 15 minutes a day to improve your posture. It works by sending your body gentle vibrations when you start to slump or slouch. This method of training makes fixing your posture an almost subconscious decision, turning good posture into a lifelong habit.