Ahhh the importance of posture. How many of us growing up were reminded to stand or sit up straight? We were told time and again sit with good posture; back straight, feet planted on the floor, and arms relaxed on your lap. No slouching! I imagine we all heard these words or similar words growing up.
But what are the reasons behind good posture? In her book “Posture, Getting it Straight” Janice Novak states that good posture can add up to ten years to your life.
Standing upright expands your lungs and slouching causes restricted breathing. Poor posture restricts the rise and fall of the breathing diaphragm. We also know from chiropractors and the study of the sushumna in pranayama that an overly bent or imbalanced spine restricts vital life force. Nerve force energy restrictions in the spine mean less life force into all the major organs fed by the spinal nerves and celiac ganglia, including your heart, lungs and brain. So now we have lessened nerve force in addition to reduced ease and depth of natural oxygenation and nervous system balance stemming from restricted or unbalanced breathing.
From Health Magazine, many of us spend our days hunched in front of a computer, “it’s very important for us to be able to stretch and open up and improve our range of motion,” says Jonathan F. Bean, MD, MS, MPH, an assistant professor in the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School in Boston.
To stay limber, try to get up for a couple minutes every half hour and stretch, walk, or stand.Try this exercise: Every morning and night, lie down on the floor and make slow “snow angels” with your arms for two or three minutes.
For an extra challenge, roll up a towel and put it on the floor underneath your spine. Many gyms have half foam rollers—a tube cut in half lengthwise—that you can use for even more of a stretch. But do these stretches slowly and stop if you feel anything worse than mild discomfort or pain, says Dr. Bean. “You want to work up to that, you want to make sure that you first get the flexibility.”
Convey Leadership and Confidence
Your Posture is important and coveys a message.
- Good, straight Posture indicates leadership and confidence.
- It conveys the message that you have confidence in your competence.
- Leaning slightly forward shows the audience you care.
- Slouching to one side delivers the opposite message. It shows disinterest.
- Hunched shoulders indicate lack of confidence and possibly low self-esteem.
Here are 3 Tips To Maintain Good Posture
1. Keep the body in alignment while sitting in an office chair and while standing. Distribute body weight evenly to the front, back, and sides of the feet while standing. While sitting in an office chair, take advantage of the chair’s features. Sit up straight and align the ears, shoulders, and hips in one vertical line. Any single position, even a good one, will be tiring. Leaning forward with a straight back can alternate with sitting back, using the back support of the office chair to ease the work of back muscles. Also be aware of and avoid unbalanced postures such as crossing legs unevenly while sitting, leaning to one side, hunching the shoulders forward or tilting the head.
2. Get up and move. As muscles tire, slouching, slumping, and other poor postures become more likely; this in turn puts extra pressure on the neck and back. In order to maintain a relaxed yet supported posture, change positions frequently. One way is to take a break from sitting in an office chair every half hour for two minutes in order to stretch, stand, or walk.
3. Increase awareness of posture and ergonomics in everyday settings. Being aware of posture and ergonomics at work, at home, and at play is a vital step towards instilling good posture and ergonomic techniques. This includes making conscious connections between episodes of back pain and specific situations where poor posture or ergonomics may be the root cause of the pain.
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