Good Posture, Good Health: Tips for Maintaining Proper Alignment
Do you ever find yourself slouching at your desk or hunching over your phone? While it might seem harmless, poor posture can have serious long-term consequences for your physical and emotional well-being. From back pain to anxiety, the way we hold our bodies has a big impact on our overall health. But don't worry, there are plenty of simple things you can do to improve your posture and reduce stress on your body. In this article, we'll explore the importance of good posture, how to recognize and fix poor posture, and tips for maintaining good posture in your daily life.
The Effects of Poor Posture
When we experience posture stress in our everyday life, it becomes casual leading to pains and aches in the long term. We don’t have a means of coping with the stress our bodies and nervous systems develop.
If your posture isn't good, your muscles must work harder to keep you upright and balanced. You are basically fighting with gravity everyday. Some muscles will become tight and lose flexibility. Poor posture results in increases the likelihood of injury, accidents, and makes some organs, like your lungs and liver less efficient.
What is Good Posture?
So what does good posture look and feel like? When you look at the spine from the front or the back, all 33 vertebrae should appear stacked in a straight line. The spine should have three curves from the side: one at your neck, one at your shoulders, and one at the small of your back.
You aren't born with this s-shaped spine. Babies' spines have one curve like a "c." The other curves usually appear between 12 and 18 months as the muscles strengthen. These curves help us keep the spine straight and manage some of the stress from activities like walking and jumping. If they are aligned properly, when you're standing up, you should be able to draw a straight line from a point just in front of your shoulders, to behind your hip, to the front of your knee, to a few inches in front of your ankle.
How to Improve Your Posture
Here are some tips for improving your posture:
- Adjust your laptop screen so it's at or slightly below eye level. Ensure your elbows and wrists are well supported and keep moving them frequently.
- Try sleeping on your side with your neck supported and with a pillow between your legs. Improper sleep postures can create more stress next morning.
- Wear comfortable shoes with low heels and good arch support. If your profession demands wearing high heels, make sure to save time for some foot massage.
- For phone calls, use a headset or listen in on speaker mode.
- Keeping your muscles and joints moving is important. Being inactive for long time with good posture can be fatal than regular movement with bad posture.
- Travel with posture awareness. Keep any bags or luggage that you are carrying close to your body. Keep your Backpacks in contact with your back maintained symmetrically.
- If you keep sitting a lot throughout the day, get up and move around frequently. Take a stretch break every 2 hours for 5 mins.
Researchers have linked poor posture to anxiety, tension, headaches, back pain and neck pain. Posture can even influence your emotional state and your pain sensitivity. So there are a lot of reasons to aim for good posture. But it's getting harder these days. Be sure to exercise and do your surya namaskars every day. Exercising will help you to nurture your joints, bones, brain and heart. Using your muscles during exercise will keep them strong enough to support you effectively. And if you're really worried, consult a yoga therapist.