How many times did your parents and grandparents tell you sit up straight? Of course, Grandma’s wagging finger only made you want to slouch deeper into the couch, insisting you’d sit however you liked. Sooner or later, though, your however-you-like sitting will catch up with you, and you may wish you had listened to Grandma’s advice.
Why You Can’t Ignore Posture
Though your mind may forget your sitting stance, your body won’t. Bad posture damages your spine, causes back pain, leads to headaches and constipation, and makes you more prone to lung infection. A recent study also found poor posture may indicate an elderly person’s future dependence on others for daily living!
On the other hand, proper posture makes you appear thinner and more in control. It also builds on your core workout—sitting the correct way keeps working the same muscles you use during exercise.
When You Have Bad Posture
Opportunities for bad posture show up every day, especially if you hunch over a screen at work. You only add to the problem by shouldering heavy bags, wearing down and giving into a bad back position as you do chores, and slumping in social settings to make yourself less noticeable.
How You Can Fix Your Posture
“Most of us have posture that’s compromised in some way, but it doesn’t take a lot of work to correct it,” Ezriel Kornel, MD, of the Cornell University School of Medicine tells Health. “Your body simply needs to be taught to experience proper posture so that that becomes the place it naturally wants to be.”
You can’t fix the problem until you know the solution! Learn what proper posture looks like for standing, sitting and everything in between.
Practice, practice, practice
Activities like these can help you make proper posture a habit.
- Stretching throughout the day lowers strains put on your back.
- Pilates and yoga improve flexibility and back and core muscles, in addition to teaching how to sit straight.
- Walking and stretching every 30 minutes and building your core at your desk prevents sedentary behavior at the office. Or, if you work from home, work while you stand or walk the treadmill.
Check out our Pinterest board for more ideas to straighten up your posture. Our board Healthy Living Tips has inspiration to help you prevent slouching.
- How to Get Your Posture Back – http://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20645435,00.html
- Older Adults’ Posture May Predict Future Disability – http://news.health.com/2013/04/19/older-adults-posture-may-predict-future-disability/
- Sit Up Straight! Why Bad Posture May Make You Look Heavier – http://www.self.com/blogs/flash/2011/07/sit-up-straight-why-bad-postur.html
- Best Stretches for Desk Jockeys – http://www.self.com/blogs/flash/2012/09/best-stretches-for-desk-jockey.html