There’s a reason your mother always told you to sit up straight. No, it isn’t because she wanted a reason to smack you in the back of the head as she walked by. She just understands that good posture equals good health. How so?
Negative Effects of Bad Posture
If you slouch a lot, your head is no longer balanced above the weight of your body as it is leaning forward and outward. Soon, your spinal column will start to round itself which stretches the muscles and ligaments attached to it. That is why you suffer more headaches, neck aches, and problems in the upper back if you spend a lot of time in front of a computer or driving without paying attention to your posture.
In addition, improper sitting and standing affects your internal organs too. You have decreased lung capacity, your levels of oxygen being delivered to the brain are diminished, and your range of motion is lowered. You may pinch off nerves that go to your other systems and impact your digestive or reproductive system as well. All of these things contribute to feelings of fatigue, feeling overall rotten, and you may find it harder to focus on the task at hand.
Proper posture involves keeping your head so it rests above the rest of your body. Imagine that there is a string at the top of your head pulling you straight up and down. Your head should face forward, your shoulders should be relaxed and down (not shrugged and tense,) and your tummy should be tucked in. Your lower back should be slightly rounded in as there is a normal inward curve in your lower spine.
It can be hard to break a bad posture habit, but as long as you keep working at it, you’ll notice that it feels better to sit and stand properly. There are several gadgets you can buy to help you achieve good posture (such as supportive back braces to wear and lumbar cushions you can use while sitting at the computer for long hours or driving). You can also visit a chiropractor who can help you get your back into shape and make the process easier.
Your spine’s condition is extremely important to your quality of life. Treat it with respect and care and you’ll be happier and healthier because of it. And, you’ll get hit in the back of the head less often by your mom.