Are you sitting up straight? You probably are now! We’ve all had that moment where we realise we are sitting or standing somewhat hunched and straighten up, instantly feeling better and more alert. Our postures are pretty important in a lot of ways, both in terms of our health and confidence, but why is that exactly?
Why it’s important!
Whether we are sitting, standing or lying down, gravity is always weighing us down which is why our bodies need to be aligned and positioned in a certain way to resist it. A good posture will evenly distribute this force across all muscle groups and structures - otherwise we run the risk of over-exerting a particular area, leading to aches and pains.
Good posture gives off a more confident image – If you’re hunched over, you’re less likely to feel happy and confident, plus your body language will seem more closed off. By sitting, walking and standing up straight, you look more confident and will feel all the better for it!
Better circulation and breathing – When we sit or stand up straighter we allow our internal organs and lungs to assume their natural position which means the flow of blood and air around our body is less constricted.
Good for muscles and joints – When we keep our postures aligned, it ensures that we are using our muscles and joints correctly and not putting unnecessary pressure on them. This helps to prevent muscle fatigue, strain and joint pain.
How to have good posture
There are lots of little things you can do to ensure you have good posture!
- When sitting, use a chair that has firm support for the small of your back. Don’t lean back too much and if you’re using a computer, make sure they are at the right height and within reach. If you’re there for a while, get up every now and then to limber up. Footrests can also help reduce strain on the backs of your legs.
- When standing, make sure that your shoulders are relaxed with your abdomen and back pulled in. Keep your feet apart at hip distance and balance your weight equally on both feet. A good way to test this is to stand up against a wall to see if you still have too much space in between your back and the surface.
- For sleeping, make sure you invest in a good mattress! One that is too soft will cause you to sink in, putting more pressure on your neck and back. The same applies to your pillows.
So there you have it – bet you’re sitting up straight now! Try to keep all of the above in mind and it’ll soon become second nature, helping you feel more alert, energetic and confident.