How many times have we heard this yelled at us by a parent or authority figure? Posture by definition is the position of the body as a whole while sitting or standing. However, there is good posture and bad posture. Having proper posture is important for good overall health. On the other hand, bad posture can cause pain in the neck and back, muscle fatigue, and changes in the spine. Proper posture guidelines for standing and sitting are simple and easy to follow. So maintaining good posture will be easy to accomplish
- Good posture means that our spine is in proper alignment. That means our muscles, ligaments and nervous system can function as expected.
- Good posture allows us to breathe more efficiently by allowing the lungs to fully expand.
- It decreases pressure on the disks and joints of the back.
- Posture also contributes to increasing a person’s appearance such as making them look more confident, taller, and slimmer.
- Proper posture is essential to proper function and overall individual health.
Poor posture, however, can have negative effects on the body.
One extreme example is that sitting and standing in the wrong way can change the natural curve of the spine over time due to certain muscles weakening and others tightening. Bad posture can cause damage to the vertebrae, joints, and spinal discs due to increased pressure placed on the spine. Poor posture can cause pain in the back, neck and weight bearing joints such as hips and knees. The effects of poor posture can really affect your health and do long term damage over time,
Proper Standing Posture
Proper standing posture should be with the head looking straight forward with the chin slightly tucked in. Ear lobes should be right over the shoulders. Shoulders should be drawn back and down away from the ears. The stomach should be engaged and pelvis should not be tilted forward or backward. The knees should be slightly bent and not in a locked position. The feet should be hip width apart and pointed forward and arches supported.
Proper Sitting Posture
Proper sitting posture is important because a lot of people spend many hours sitting due to their occupation or lifestyle. For proper sitting posture in a chair, the head and back should be straight. The shoulders should be down and back away from the ears. The shoulders should be over the hips and body weight should be distributed evenly on the hips. Have a support for the low back to help keep the natural curve of the spine. Knees should be bent and right over the ankles. The feet should be uncrossed and flat on the floor or at a slight incline.
Proper posture isn’t hard. With a little extra attention, you will reap the benefits of an efficiently functioning body and good health. Follow the guidelines for proper standing and sitting posture…and don’t slouch!
Header photo by Kevin Colvin – https://flic.kr/p/qbwSuA