Posture is not only about how you carry yourself and body language, but having good posture is also better for your back, health and sports performance. Good posture can have a significant impact on your physical health and mental well-being as well as overall quality of life.
World Spine Day is celebrated on 16 October and we’re drawing attention to posture. But we know it doesn’t just magically happen. Posture gets better with exercise too – core and back strength. Here are ways to get better posture and reasons why it’s important.
Why Is Good Posture Important?
Maintaining proper alignment of your spine is crucial for preventing structural issues. Good posture helps distribute the force of gravity more evenly through your body, reducing the risk of conditions like spinal misalignment, disc compression, and back pain. Good posture can prevent or alleviate various types of pain, including back, neck, and shoulder pain. When you sit or stand with proper alignment, you reduce the stress on your muscles, ligaments, and joints. Proper posture allows your lungs to expand fully, enabling efficient breathing. Slouched or hunched posture can restrict lung capacity, leading to shallow breathing and decreased oxygen intake. Maintaining an upright posture during and after meals aids in proper digestion. Slouching or lying down immediately after eating can contribute to issues like acid reflux and indigestion.
How To Improve Your Posture
The first step in improving posture is being aware of your current posture habits. Pay attention to how you sit, stand, and walk throughout the day.
– Invest in an ergonomic chair, desk, and computer setup to support good posture, especially if you have a desk job. Use an ergonomic keyboard and mouse to reduce strain on your wrists and arms.
– If you sit for extended periods, take short breaks every 30 minutes to stand up, stretch, and walk around.
– A strong core helps support your spine and maintain good posture. Incorporate exercises like planks, bridges, and abdominal crunches into your routine.
– Stretch regularly to release tension and improve flexibility. Focus on stretching the chest, shoulders, hip flexors, and hamstrings. Incorporate this “Back Care” routine into your daily exercise.
– Do little exercises during the day such as chin tucks and back stretches: Squeeze your shoulder blades together, hold for a few seconds, and then release.
– Wear supportive shoes that provide proper arch support. Avoid shoes with high heels for extended periods.
– Massage therapy and physical therapy can help release muscle tension and correct imbalances contributing to poor posture.
This article serves as a guideline only. It’s important to note that if you have chronic posture-related issues or pain, you should consult a physical therapist, chiropractor or healthcare professional for guidance and personalised exercises.