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Sit Right, Live Right: Benefits of Good Posture

Thursday, March 04, 2010
By Anne Kramer

        Part 1 in a 2 Part Series on Posture. See Part 2: Signs and Effects of Poor Posture

Posture plays a greater role in your life than you think – it affects how you look, how you feel, and how healthy you are.

Why Stand Straight

  • Prevent the spine from forming into abnormal positions
  • Maintain proper muscle and joint usage
  • Reduce and prevent stress
  • Prevent back pain
  • Center your balance
  • Promote efficiency, since all muscles, joints and bones are being used optimally
  • Encourage confidence and good morale.

How To Stand

The ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles should be in line when you are standing up straight. You shouldn’t be stiff. Relax what is natural – your knees and your shoulders. If you’re standing for a prolonged period of time, you might feel strained, so make sure to keep shifting your weight back and forth (while maintaining good posture).

How To Sit

When sitting, sit with your hips as far back as possible against the chair with your knees around hip level. Ensure that your back is supported, preferably with an ergonomic chair. Use a pillow if you need more support.

At work, your desk should be at the height of your elbows, and your back should be supported so you don’t lean forward. Ergonomic adjustable tables make this task easier. If you find yourself slouching, adjust your computer monitor so you don’t have to compromise your posture. Keep your hips and shoulders parallel.

You can apply similar rules while driving – just grab the steering wheel while maintaining a comfortable bend in your elbows.

Sit Right, Sleep Tight

Sleeping on the right mattress is vital to relieving back stress and maintaining good posture. Choose a firm mattress and sleep on your back. If you must sleep facing down (on your stomach), place a pillow underneath to ease the pressure.

Pillows can help you maintain posture while sleeping on your side and back. If you sleep on your side, put one in between your knees. To improve your back place it under your knees.

Why to Stand Straight – Not Only For Your Back

While good posture will help you prevent pain, stress, and aches, it can also boost your confidence and morale. You will look taller, slimmer and more confident. Stand up straight and tell yourself you can take on anything! It will help you through your day, and lead you towards overall mental and physical comfort.

Stick To It

Remind yourself of the importance of sitting up straight. We move most efficiently and effectively when our bodies are in a neutral position. This is why doctors tell patients to retain good posture. It prevents muscle fatigue, skeletal joints from remaining overly flexed or extended and pain.

With diligence and the use of the right products and methods, you can achieve good posture for better looks, health, morale, and confidence.

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