You must be wondering what’s so bad about having poor posture apart from not looking sharp enough? Quite a bit, as it turns out. The correct posture is about far more than looking sharp, confident and poised. Sitting, standing and sleeping in the right posture makes sure our bodies function well. So here’s your ultimate guide to getting the correct posture:
One of the most common questions about not having the right posture is whether it is all that bad. Well, I’m afraid it is. When you slouch, so does your spine. This restricts blood circulation and may lead to deterioration of the vertebrae. Going about the day in your poor posture will result in your body getting taxed sooner. This would mean extreme and earlier exhaustion towards the end of the day. It is simple logic – a neutral position relaxes the body, while a bad position strains it. A wrong posture causes misalignment in the body which affects our muscles, bones and overall movement and flexibility.
So now that we know how dangerous bad posture is for us, let’s find out why we have a bad posture so that we can improve it.
Bad posture isn’t always the sign of laziness. So don’t be so hard on yourself. Today, we are facing weight-issues all over the nation. Weight gain changes how our skeleton and muscles support themselves and each other. Other reasons for bad posture include a sedentary lifestyle. The 9-5 shifts, which make us sit on a chair for the better part of the day, can cause stiffness in our bones and muscles leading to bad posture. Then stress also plays its role in wrecking havoc on our lives and bodies. Not to mention the type of chairs that we sit on all day. Too high or too low won’t do guys, you chair needs to be on a height where you can sit comfortably with your feet pressed flat on the floor; and your knees must be a little lower than your hip bone. If your office chair doesn’t fill the criterion, inform the concerned authority and see if anything can be done about that. Some other factors that lead to a bad posture are wrong type of shoes, genetics, low self esteem, foot problems, accidents or injuries, bad mattress, poor support while seated, weak muscles and bones, and hunching by habit.
I guess you’ve figured out why you have a bad posture. So let’s get on with improving it now.
Also read: Post workout mistakes you may be making
To improve your posture while sitting, ensure that your head is straight and not tilted upwards or downwards. Keep your shoulders back and relax your neck and shoulder muscles. Your knees must be on a slightly lower level than your hips and your feet must be pressed flat on the floor.
Also read: Is standing for long hours bad for you?
Standing erect is misinterpreted as “stomach-in-chest-out”; but that can make you look like a duck if done wrong. Sure you need to keep your stomach muscles firm because they help to keep your body straight. Keep your shoulders and back straight. Your chest must not stick out; keep it perpendicular to the ground instead. Wear good quality shoes that are comfortable. Bend your knees ever so slightly to help ease the pressure on your hips. When walking, keep your chin parallel to the ground and look a few feet ahead. Let your heel hit the ground first then roll onto your toes.
Ensure that you don’t sleep on an old mattress as it can worsen your posture. Invest in a good quality mattress and change it every year. Do some stretching exercises before bedtime to ease the tension in your body. Sleep on your side (preferably right side) with a soft pillow between your legs or knees for better support. Use a very slim and soft pillow for your head, as a high, fluffy pillow causes your neck to bend at an awkward angle.