How do you perfect your posture? We’ve all heard it before: “Stop slouching!” or “Straighten up!” There’s a lot that plays into your posture, and there’s more to it than just appearance. The textbook definition of posture is “the position we hold our bodies when standing up, sitting down, and lying down.”
There are two main types of posture, dynamic and static. Dynamic posture is the position you hold yourself when you are moving, such as walking or running. Static posture is the position you hold yourself when you aren’t moving (standing, sitting, sleeping).
Perfect Posture and Health
You may be thinking, “Okay, but what does posture have to do with my overall health?” Some of the answers may surprise you…
Spine Health – Your spine is what your posture is centered around. The more your body slouches and curves, the more likely it is for your spine to weaken and become misaligned. This is why proper posture, along with chiropractic care, is so important.
Referring Pain – Since the spine connects everything, your back probably won’t be the only place you’ll feel pain. The pain will likely apply to your neck and shoulders as well, which will cause stiffness and increase the likelihood of more misalignments.
Lack of Flexibility – The pain and stiffness you experience may cause you to become less flexible than you once were. Stretching can help with this, but training your body to maintain good posture will ensure strength in your muscles and prevent injury, leading to improved flexibility.
Joint Health – Your joints are part of your musculoskeletal system, along with your muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissue affected by posture. Proper posture allows fluid movement, and without that, your joints can deteriorate due to the stress put onto them from not holding your body correctly.
Digestion – Think about it. If you are slumped over throughout the day, your internal organs might not be very happy. Due to the constriction, your digestion patterns may be altered, which can lead to constipation, gas, and acid reflux.
Difficulty Breathing – Similar to how your digestive system can get compressed due to poor posture, your lungs can as well. The volume of your lungs can decrease and make it difficult to breathe to the best potential. Long-term effects can be dangerous, as shallow breathing can reduce the flow of oxygen to your heart and brain.
Perfect Your Posture When Sitting…
1. Don’t stay in one position for too long.
2. Get up to move around and stretch when you can.
3. Relax – the more you tense up, the stiffer you’ll be.
4. Make sure you sit in a comfortable, padded seat that can support your back, hips, and thighs. Sitting in a chair without a backrest will make it challenging to avoid slouching.
5. 90-degree angles at your elbows and your knees are essential for good static posture.
Perfect Your Posture When Standing…
1. Position yourself with your:
– Feet shoulder length apart
– Shoulders back
– Stomach in
– Head level
2. Think ‘up,’ stand nice and tall, but be sure not to arch too far back!
3. Keep your arms relaxed and rest them by your side.
Lastly, here are a few tips to help perfect your posture for both dynamic and static types:
Exercise – Core exercises are fundamental in making sure your spine is surrounded by strong muscles to help support your overall position. Also, activities that focus on balance and finding your center, such as yoga, aid to recognize your body’s need for good posture.
Form the habit – Probably the hardest part of improving your posture is remembering to do it. It’s so easy to fall back into a hunched over position after correcting your posture, especially in the beginning. However, once your awareness of posture increases, it will become easier to maintain that position for longer durations. Not to mention, you will start to feel a lot better after correcting your posture, which will make you want to do it more!
Shoes – Wear comfortable, supportive shoes with as low of a heel as possible. High heeled shoes are not only bad for your feet, but they can also make balancing difficult and cause you to walk in a strained motion, which leads to poor posture.
Weight – Lower back pain is common in overweight individuals. Maintaining a healthy weight will help take the pressure off of your muscles, spine, and pelvis, therefore making it easier to correct your posture.
Do everyday tasks at a proper height – Examine the level of your desk, chair, and computer, especially if you have a desk job. Make sure you adjust them to a position that will support proper static posture. Also, be aware of height and levelness in daily activities such as reading, cooking, or driving.
As with most things, great posture takes practice, and you will most likely not obtain that overnight. However, incorporating the tips that we’ve given you into your daily routine will help ease the process! Once you are in the habit of correcting your posture, you should notice a huge difference in how you feel.
For more information about how you can perfect your posture and general posture, tips check out this previous article on our blog!
Chiropractor in Frisco
If you are looking for a chiropractor in Frisco, Plano, McKinney, Little Elm, The Colony, Prosper or anywhere else close by we would love to help you! We have convenient office hours (open late most days and open on Saturdays). You also never need an appointment!
Give us a call at (469) 362-5711 or stop on by today to see if we can help you with any of your spinal health and wellness needs!