Proper posture helps us to stand, walk, sit, and sleep in positions that cause the least amount of strain on our supporting muscles and joints during movement and strenuous activities. Not only does it improve our mobility, but it also makes us look slimmer, taller, and more confident.
Other benefits from proper posture include:
- muscle pain prevention
- allows muscles to work more efficiently with less fatigue
- minimizes chances of injury
- degenerative arthritis and joint pain prevention
Tips for better posture:
- Avoid slouching - not only is slouching horrible for your spine, but it also adds stress to your muscles, joints, and inner organs. Sit up nice and tall, and engage your core - this will help support your torso.
- Save heels for special occasions - most high heels push the base of your spine forward, which arches your back. Not only does this cause back pain, but it also puts extra weight on your knees. Stick to shorter, chunky heels or even flats and sandals for everyday wear.
- Pay attention to your neck when texting - how many hours a day is your head facing down looking at your phone? This can also cause your shoulders to slouch. Try holding your phone at an eye-level to straighten your spine out.
Don't forget about T12!
You're probably thinking... T-what!? T12 is the key vertebrae in your spine. It sits five inches above your waistline.
With a little support at that level give or take 1 or 2 inches (based on what feels good to you) will keep your spine in a perfect alignment
It will even keep your head over your shoulders and reduce neck pain and headache!
The following are detailed guides from the American Chiropractic Association.
How do I stand properly?
- Bear your weight primarily on the balls of your feet.
- Keep your knees slightly bent.
- Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart.
- Let your arms hang naturally down the sides of the body.
- Stand straight and tall with your shoulders pulled backward.
- Tuck your stomach in.
- Keep your head level-your earlobes should be in line with your shoulders. Do not push your head forward, backward, or to the side.
- Shift your weight from your toes to your heels, or one foot to the other, if you have to stand for a long time.
How do I sit properly?
- Keep your feet on the floor or on a footrest, if they don't reach the floor.
- Don't cross your legs. Your ankles should be in front of your knees.
- Keep a small gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat.
- Your knees should be at or below the level of your hips.
- Adjust the backrest of your chair to support your low- and mid-back or use a back support.
- Relax your shoulders and keep your forearms parallel to the ground.
- Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time.