Posture is the way you hold your body, whether it is while sitting, standing, sleeping, or any other way. A bad posture will have damaging consequences to your body, straining your muscles and ligaments. Here are some reasons why maintaining a good posture can bring you holistic benefits as well as how to go about doing it.
Benefits of good posture
Easy breathing: Poor posture, like a slouched position, can compress the lungs, stomach, intestines, and other organs. As a result, it can become difficult to breathe. One study showed that lung muscles drew less air when a person slouched as compared to someone who maintained an upright stance while sitting.
Better mood: Just having a good posture can improve your mood considerably. There is an evolutionary reason behind this. When humans feel threatened, they tend to hold their breath, tighten their muscles, and lift their shoulders near their ears. These are characteristics of a poor posture. As such, the brain can interpret a poor posture to be a reaction to a threat, which will end up making you more anxious. In contrast, good posture with an upright stance and shoulders down will be interpreted by the brain as a relaxed state. As such, you will not feel much anxiety or tension.
Digestion: When you eat food, it gets broken down while getting transported from the small intestine to the large intestine. This process is known as peristalsis and is a result of the contraction and expansion of the diaphragm, abdominal muscles, hips, back muscles, and so on. When you sit upright, your trunk will be stretched enough for the process to take place. But if you remain slouched, then the contraction and expansion will be limited. As a consequence, the food won’t be digested properly.
Lose weight: Yep, you can lose weight by maintaining correct posture. A good posture will naturally strengthen the core muscles that support the body. Consciously maintaining an upright pose will also burn off more calories. Even when you move, more of your muscles will be involved, meaning that calorie burn off will inevitably be higher. As a consequence, your body will burn off more fat, thus helping you lose weight.
Maintaining good posture
Standing: Always stand straight and keep your shoulders back. Keep your head level and allow your arms to hang down naturally by the sides. You should keep your feet shoulder-width apart. As to the stomach, pull it in. Ensure that your body weight is put on the balls of your feet.
Sitting: Make sure that your back is supported by a pillow or something in case your chair does not have a backrest. The elbows should be close to your body, bent about 90 to 120 degrees. The hips and thighs should be parallel to the floor. The shoulders must not be pulled backward and should be relaxed. Avoid crossing the legs and ensure that the feet touch the floor. The ankles should ideally be in front of the knees. It is recommended that you stretch your muscles every now and then to relieve the built-up tension. Plus, it would do a world of good if you take a brief walk. For instance, you can go for a 10-minute walk every 3 or 4 hours.