Posture is the position through which your body is held upright against gravity while sitting, standing or lying down. Good posture deals with training your body to lie, stand, sit and walk in positions where the strain is the least on the supporting muscles as well as supporting ligaments during weight bearing activities.
Proper posture is important because it keeps your bones and joints in correct alignment so that the muscles are used properly. It reduces any abnormal wearing of joint surfaces which can result in arthritis, as well as decreasing the stress on the ligaments which hold the joints of the spine together preventing the spine from being fixed in an abnormal position. Proper posture also allows the body to expend less energy, therefore preventing fatigue, muscular pain and backache, and overuse or strain problems.
The following are the effects of bad posture:
- It blocks your digestive system and makes it sluggish. This can be rectified through use of pilates and yoga which strengthens your core.
- It affects your mood and happiness level while making you appear fatigued
- Due to slouching, it makes you look heavier.
- For women who spend many hours sitting, the bad posture can cause spider veins. This is because prolonged sitting with your legs crossed increases pressure.
- Bad posture worsens stress. People with good postures where their spines are straight and shoulders open have an increased rise in testosterone levels and a decrease in the stress hormone.
- Bad posture can cause stiff muscles, bad breathing, joint stiffness as well as pain.
Posture can be improved using the following:
- Identify a good posture which involves keeping your body in alignment. When standing, you should have a straight back, chin up, squared shoulders, chest out, feet forward, stomach in, and your hips and knees should be in a neutral position.
- Train your muscles to work together correctly, which will help you maintain a correct posture without fatigue. For example, when you have to lift weights, exercise the antagonist and agonist muscles evenly so that you do not lift heavy objects with your back.
- Have a good walking posture as a result of having a good standing posture. This entails keeping your head up, chest out, shoulders back as well as eyes looking straight ahead.
- For a proper sitting posture, use a chair that is ergonomically designed to give you proper support and also designed for your weight and height. This ensures that you have great lumbar support.
- When sitting at a computer for long, it is important to walk around and when sleeping, always sleep on your side.
Good posture is important because:
- It avoids back and neck pain. It also prevents muscle fatigue and muscle aches and keeps your joints and bones in proper alignment so that you can use your muscles efficiently and prevent overuse and strain.
- Good posture helps avoid new health problems because it reduces abnormal wear as well as tear on joint surfaces, which can lead to arthritis. It will also help you avoid the development of an abnormal permanent position and cause spinal disk issues, constricted blood vessels as well as nerves.
- Good posture opens the airways and ensures proper breathing which allows oxygen flow in the cardiopulmonary system.
- Good posture helps you make a good first impression and makes you appear more confident and attractive.
Finally, good posture creates the least amount of strain on your supporting ligaments and muscles as you move or perform any type of weight-bearing activity. Good posture helps maintain a healthy mind and body.