A lot of people go through life hearing about the importance of maintaining good posture in Cornelius, NC, and in many instances, this information is received during our formative years. Case in point. you might recall distinct memories of your parents urging you to sit up straight at the dining room table, or you occasionally experience flashbacks to your high school teacher beckoning you to stop slouching during a particularly monotonous lecture. Regardless of when you first heard it, since that time, it’s likely been ingrained in your head that maintaining good posture is important.
While most people understand that maintaining good posture is beneficial, the why behind it is a bit harder to grasp. In this post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about achieving good posture and how to maintain it.
Why does Posture Matter?
Let’s face it, generally speaking, most people look better when they’re engaging in good posture. It can signal respect and interest when you’re speaking with someone, showing that you’re actively engaged. However, the benefits of posture are far beyond those of the social. Good posture is crucial to balance. When you stand up straight, you center your weight over your feet. When you practice general good posture, your balance remains in alignment, which is particularly important for athletes or those who engage in routine exercise. In general, fewer injuries will result for those who have good balance. And good balance is beneficial to nearly every sport or activity- golf, skiing, running, dancing, tennis, etc.
Even if you’re not an athlete, daily tasks like walking down the block, carrying a package, rising from a chair, or even turning around to look behind you are executed much more fluidly when your balance is in check. Balance is directly linked to your posture, so naturally, working on your posture has direct benefits to aiding your everyday movements.
How Bad Posture Manifests in Your Day-to-Day Life
When people hear the term “bad posture” their minds typically go to a few different places. From a social standpoint, we often associate bad posture with disinterest, discontentment, and a lack of confidence. While the social aspects may or may not actually be true, bad posture is often linked to pain and physical discomfort. In actuality, bad posture can affect you in a myriad of ways, some you might expect, and others you might find surprising.
Common Symptoms of Bad Posture: In general, bad posture can lead to a series of pains in multiple parts of the body. People often feel pain and strain in their necks, shoulders, and backs. Poor posture forces the muscles in your body to work overtime, further jumpstarting your immune system’s response in an attempt to heal. Chronically going through this cycle can lead to arthritis in nearby joints.
Despite the proven links between our minds and bodies, people don’t often realize that chronic pain can lead to physical discomfort, just as much as it can lead to mental anguish. Being in constant or re-occurring pain can seriously affect your mental state leading to issues like poor mood, sleep problems, anxiety, decreased motivation, and more.
Surprising Symptoms of Bad Posture: A lot of the aforementioned issues probably don’t come as a major surprise to anyone who has a base knowledge of bad posture. However, there are some rather interesting symptoms that you may not realize have direct links to poor posture. According to Harvard Medical School, slouching can promote heartburn, incontinence, and constipation. All of these issues are directly related to your body’s inability to function properly due to skewed posture. Slouching puts unwanted pressure on certain parts of the body. Meanwhile, contorting your body can affect abdominal muscles, putting pressure on the abdomen.
The Good News? Bad Posture can be Corrected.
Fortunately, posture is a medical condition that can be remedied, and often in the privacy of your own space. To improve your posture, you can start by understanding what good posture looks like in practice. According to Harvard Medical School, your posture should look like the following:
- Situate your chin parallel to the floor
- Keep shoulders even (roll your shoulders up, back, and down to help achieve this)
- Maintain a neutral spine (avoid flexing or arching to overemphasize the curve in your lower back)
- Keep your arms at your sides with elbows straight and even.
- Abdominal muscles braced.
- Hips even promote balance.
- Knees even and pointing straight ahead.
- Align your body weight to be evenly distributed on both feet.
When you first start attempting to correct your posture, it’s important to be cognizant of how your body contorts and falls. Try to check in with yourself every so often and assess where your posture is, making corrections as you go about your day. Practicing your good posture doesn’t have to be limited to when you are standing. As you sit, focus on keeping your chin parallel to the floor, and your shoulders, and knees at even heights. You’ll want to keep your feet pointing ahead.
Another tip is to get up and move around periodically, especially if you work or spend hours at a time in a fixed and sedentary position. Not only is movement itself beneficial, but breaking up the amount of time you stay in one position will ensure that a singular muscle or body part isn’t being overworked or overstimulated. If you’re unable to move from your spot for whatever reason, you can execute small exercises where you sit, like single leg extensions and chin tucks.
Over time, ideally, these practices will become second nature and you will find yourself naturally correcting poor posture whether you’re sitting or standing.
Maintaining a Good Posture Leads to Better Health and More
Maintaining a good posture has a number of benefits, both mentally and physically. Over time you will likely have more energy, improve your sleep hygiene, perform better athletically, and achieve better balance, amongst a myriad of other benefits. If you still find yourself struggling in spite of trying these exercises and correcting your positioning, you can always talk to a chiropractor Cornelius NC to determine if there’s more to the issue than meets the eye. Regardless, you will never regret taking steps to improve your posture. Maintaining good posture in Cornelius, NC is vitally important, and key to living a holistically healthier life, and at Lakeside Sports Chiropractic and Physical Therapy in Cornelius, NC, Dr. Jennifer Lidstrom and her team of experts is ready to help answer all your questions. Please feel free to contact us today.
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