Posture is one of those things that most of us don’t think of very often. Over the years it can have a massive impact, however, and it can even affect our overall health, not to mention our confidence and self-image. Here are some tips for how to maintain and keep a better posture.
Good Posture Matters
Having an upright posture is not just about appearance or making an impression. Your posture has a very large influence on your overall physical health including digestion and energy level, and it also affects your emotional and psychological health as well. Injuries can get worse if you have bad posture and better if you have good posture.
There are two kinds of posture: dynamic posture – while you’re walking or moving, and static posture when you are sitting, sleeping or standing up. The key to posture is all in your spine and the position of your spine. The spine’s three main areas that determine posture are your neck, lower back and middle back.¹
The Dangers of Bad Posture
Bad posture squashes your skeletal structure, muscles and ligaments together and pushes your organs into close proximity, leading to all sorts of problems with your digestion, breathing and overall health. Bad posture is a serious issue.²
1. Avoid Laptop in Bed Posture
Avoid lounging in bed with your laptop with your neck at a sharp angle. This angles your neck unnaturally and creates a pattern of very bad posture that can carry over into every other area including dynamic posture. What you get used to becomes your new normal. If you have to use your laptop in bed or watch TV sit up as straight as possible against the headboard.³
Exercise is one of the best ways to correct your posture, especially martial arts, yoga and exercises with a lot of stretching. If you jog be mindful of keeping your posture as straight as possible. There are also a number of exercises and stretches that are specifically aimed at improving posture which you can find on YouTube and many other online sites.¹
3. Sleep On Your Back
Only eight percent of Americans sleep on their back normally, but it’s the best way if you want to help your posture. Also avoid using more than one pillow, as a sharp angle of your neck decreases blood flow and makes your posture worse. If you don’t sleep on your back give it a try, you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and your posture will improve over time.³
4. Lift Carefully in an Upright Position
If you have a job or daily tasks which involve a lot of lifting, tense up your abdomen and keep your back straight when you lift. Don’t bend over like a big U and pick it up. This places undue stress on your spine and causes it to fold back into a poor posture when you’re doing other dynamic tasks or in a static posture. Lifting carefully with an upright back can do a lot towards helping keep your posture good.³
5. Text Better
These days there is a lot of important stuff on your smartphone and you’re likely sending texts quite often. This can lead to text neck where your head is down like a linebacker all day and your dynamic and static posture becomes an absolute disaster. How you hold your neck has a big impact on your overall posture and becomes your “new normal.” Instead of holding your phone below your head, try holding it further out in front at eye level and keeping your neck upright – your posture will thank you.²