The Pleasure of Good Posture.
|August 12, 2013||Filled under Living the Dream|
Working at a desk all day absolutely destroyed my posture. Don’t get me wrong — I love having a desk job — but sitting for 6-8 hours a day in stressful situations really does a number on the body. I’ve recently taken to hunching over the keyboard with my shoulders almost up to my ears, like a very studious Igor, which has resulted in some intense back pain that no amount of stretching seems to relieve. Yes, I’m one of those horrible back-crackers who swivels in their chair to find that horrible crackling relief. But I worry that if I let myself keep on this way, I may do permanent damage to my body.
Looking for the motivation to improve your posture? Well here it is. Turns out, bad posture can lead to:
- Neck & back pain
- Sore shoulders
- Tight breathing
It can even affect your rib case, causing damage to your heart and lungs, and lead to gastrointestinal issues!
Meanwhile, having good posture has shown to:
- Facilitate better breathing
- Increase concentration & thinking ability
- Improve self-image
- Help avoid health complications
So I’ve decided to straighten up – my spine, that is. And you should to! (or don’t – I’m not the boss of you. I mean, I could be, but that costs extra.)
Ways to improve your posture:
1. Do a posture check. Every so often, roll your shoulders all the way back back and hold them there. That is perfect posture. The change is instant and very noticeable; you’ll feel better and more alert. You’d be surprised how often you are slouching and don’t even realize it. By consciously fixing your posture, you’ll train your body.
2. Get a better chair. This was a big one for me since I am a pretty short person, only 5’2″, and most chairs are not built for someone my size. I was able to solve my problem by getting a cushion to fill in the gap between my back and the chair, but if you can, find a chair that fits your body.
3. Place your butt at the innermost edge of the chair. Rather than sitting at the edge of the chair where you are more likely to slouch, pushing your body against the back of the chair keeps your back aligned with the chair’s curves which, if you have the appropriate chair, should line up with your back.
4. Avoid bad posture habits. Try to avoid things like watching TV/reading while lying down, working under dim light (which doesn’t affect your eyes so much as causes slouching), or sleeping on your stomach.
5. Engage in exercises which strengthen your back. Pilates, yoga, and stretching are all great for this. Be careful when doing your core workouts, though. Doing them incorrectly could result in hurting your neck and back, rather than helping.
Need another great reasons to improve your posture? Standing up straight can make your bust look bigger and your tummy slimmer. It’s actually one of the easiest ways to improve your appearance!
Did you correct your posture as you were reading this?
What did you do this weekend?