There are a plethora of health benefits associated with good posture. When you learn and practice correct posture, you’ll reap all the health benefits of good posture while looking taller, leaner and appearing more confident.
Your posture is the position of your body while you are standing, sitting, or laying down. Being cognizant of your posture is something that doesn’t come naturally to everyone, and often must be learned.
Poor posture is incredibly common and is defined as poor body positioning such as slouching, incorrect head positioning, or hunching your shoulders. One of the most common examples of poor posture is looking down at a phone or laptop with hunched shoulders. People do this all the time, without realizing how negatively it impacts their health.
What Causes Poor Posture?
Why do so many people have poor posture? Mastering good posture isn’t as easy as it sounds, but it can be done. Some people have perpetually poor posture, while others have postural imbalances or postural stress. Postural imbalances such as uneven hips can cause poor posture if not treated by a physiotherapist or chiropractor.
Postural stress also causes poor posture and is caused by challenges such as a workstation that is not ergonomic. If your desk is the wrong height, and you have to hunch over to type, this is an example of postural stress. This will always create a habit of poor posture if the ergonomics of your workstation are not attended to.
Improving your posture involves being cognizant of your head and shoulder position, standing up straighter, sitting up straighter, and avoiding the hunched or slouched position. Improving your posture also requires improving ergonomics in your home and office to better facilitate good posture. For example, raising your computer monitor to eye level and getting an ergonomic chair and a desk that is adjustable in height will help your posture.
Imagine you’re standing straight enough to balance a book on your head. Or, imagine that a string is pulling your head and spine upwards, toward the ceiling. This is what good posture looks like.
How Better Posture Leads to Better Health
Below are some more detailed examples of how improving your posture can improve your health and wellness:
Good Posture Reduces Back and Body Pains
Poor posture puts unnecessary stress on your muscles and joints. When you practice good posture, you’ll keep your joints and bones properly aligned. Better alignment and positioning decreases the wearing of your joints and reduces stress on your ligaments.
Many people find that once they improve their posture, they also have improved digestion, increased energy, better breathing, improved blood flow, and fewer body pains.
Learning and practising correct posture can help prevent muscle strain, as your muscles can work more effectively when your body position is properly aligned.
Going through life with poor posture also ultimately weakens your muscles. Often, chronic pain is caused by weak muscles. Another one of the health benefits of good posture is that it improves your body’s flexibility and range of motion, which can prevent injuries or back pain.
Increased Mental Alertness from Improving Blood Flow and Oxygen Supply to Your Brain
When you have good posture, you’ll improve blood flow to your brain while also increasing oxygen supply to your brain. This in turn facilitates concentration, focus, and increases mental alertness. You’ll have more mental energy when there’s more blood flow to your brain and higher oxygen supply from improving your posture.
So, how does this work? In general, good posture improves your breathing. Correct body positioning (posture) also leads to improved blood flow and better circulation of oxygen. In order to function at its best, your brain needs a healthy amount of blood and oxygen supplied and delivered to it.
Good oxygen flow and blood flow will increase both your mental and physical energy. Poor posture such as slouching compresses your lungs, restricting the amount of air you’re able to inhale. When you slouch, you’ll therefore take in much less oxygen than you would if you maintain good posture. That’s why poor posture can decrease your energy and lead to brain fog. Poor posture also compromises blood circulation in your body.
One of the main health benefits of good posture involves providing your brain with more oxygenated blood. That’s why mental fatigue and brain fog may no longer be a problem once you improve your posture.
Digestive issues are no fun, but many people don’t know that their poor posture could be the cause of their digestive problems. Poor posture can compress your abdominal organs, which are needed for digestion. If you want your gastrointestinal system to function effectively, you’ll want to improve your posture.
Did you know that poor posture after eating a meal could lead to painful gas, constipation, or acid reflux? Try not to slouch on the couch with poor posture after eating if you want to avoid these digestive issues.
When you sit or stand straighter with the correct posture after eating, gas can move through your body more easily. Research studies have proven that correct posture can reduce intestinal gas, bloating and abdominal pains. Gas is less likely to get trapped in your intestines if you maintain correct body positioning, and more likely to get trapped in your intestines if you compress your abdominal organs by slouching.
If you find that you’re still having digestive issues even after improving your posture, you may need to look at altering your diet. Get your unique dietary profile from CircleDNA to see what food intolerances you might have, or to find out your optimal diet.