Stand up straight! Chest out, shoulders back, head up. Growing up you hear these words when someone is expecting you to be respectful. The stance is the equivalent of having good posture. Good posture shows respect, but it is also essential to a person’s overall health and wellness.
So, how does posture impact your health and wellness?
First, let us answer what is posture?
Posture is the position in which we hold our bodies while standing, sitting, or lying down. Good posture is when the body is in correct alignment and supported by the right amount of muscle tension against gravity. Without posture and the muscles that control it, we would fall to the ground.
Good posture allows joints and muscles to work properly together, reducing degenerative arthritis and joint pain. It also reduces stress on joints and ligaments, therefore reducing pain and injury. These points lead to overall wellness.
Here are 5 tips to help you practice good posture daily:
Stand straight. Center your weight on the balls of your feet with knees slightly bent and shoulders pulled back with your head level. If standing for an extended period of time, move your weight from heel to toe.
Sit upright. Keep your feet on the floor or footrest, leaving a small gap between your legs and the chair. Refrain from crossing your legs and keep ankles in front of the knees.
Support your lower back when seated. Adjust seat to support the lower and mid-back area. Relax your shoulders and keep your forearms parallel to the ground.
Sleep supported. Find a mattress that is right for you, firm or soft, your comfort is most important here. Always sleep with a pillow.
Sleep positions are important. Avoid sleeping on your stomach. Typically lying on your side or back can reduce back pain. When sleeping on your side, place a pillow between your legs, if on your back place a pillow under your knees.
Use these tips in your everyday practice to fully enjoy life pain free. Wellness is a lifestyle and your posture is essential to that. Practice these tips and tell a friend or family member to help them on a path to wellness.