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Why Posture Matters — an article on the Smart Living Network
February 3, 2011 at 1:00 PMComments: 2 Faves: 0

Why Posture Matters

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You might have memories from growing up of a parent or adult telling you to stand up straight. As it turns out, they were giving you sound advice, because paying attention to your posture can have some amazing benefits. From appearance to an increased quality of life, the possibilities are endless with some very simple instructions to keep in mind when you sit or stand.

Stand Tall

By recent estimates, 80 percent of adults could use some improvement in their posture. This may not be surprising since most people can be seen slouching or hunched over. It might feel more comfortable at the time, but the long-term effects of poor posture should be enough to make anyone straighten their act. Ideal posture is achieved when your body is lined up in a proportionate way. As you stand, look at how your feet, knees, and head are positioned. If one or more body parts are out of line, you are most likely placing unnecessary stress on your body.

The resistance of natural gravity is what causes complications for your spine and breathing patterns. Instead, a feeling of weightlessness should accompany your stance, freeing your body from strains. To help discover your own posture, use a mirror and watch yourself from the side view. There, you can see exactly how your body is lined up and what needs to be adjusted. The good news is that once you are accustomed to standing or sitting up straight, it will be much more natural and automatic.

Risks and Sitting Positions

Why is posture so important? These days, people are spending hours and hours sitting at a desk and using a computer. The constant leaning over to see the screen leads to back problems and other conditions. It is also harder to breathe because your lungs will have to expend more energy. All of this extra work catches up with your body and puts you at risk for arthritis, joint problems, and many other illnesses.

Avoid hunching over and keep your head above your shoulders, looking straight ahead at the screen. Sit with your knees uncrossed and bent at a 90 degree angle. Again, your back and spine are straight, and not leaning backward or forward. Try to get up every so often and stretch your body, including your back, arms, and legs. Concentrate on breathing from your stomach with longer, deeper breaths to replace the shorter breaths made from your chest area.

Through correct form and posture, the daily stress you encounter will be easier to cope with because you will not be physically strained. Asthma and arthritis patients can experience relief from their symptoms with an improved posture. Optimal balance and breathing also help stroke patients who practice sitting and standing correctly.

Exercise and Posture

Although sitting and standing are obvious areas of posture concern, people can have problems while exercising too. Certain movements or activities might lead a person to lean the wrong way or remain in a hunched position. Basically, the spine was not meant to be curved. It must be straight to release the tension in your body. As explained above, use a mirror while working out to make sure that you are always performing the exercise with the right form and technique.

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/look-thinner-instantly

http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/look-thinner-instantly?page=2

http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/look-thinner-instantly?page=3

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2 Comments

  • I definitely need to work on the standing tall part (I say that as I'm slouched down in my chair ha!) But it definitely helps not only from a health standpoint but adds a ton of confidence to your walk and makes you seem like you are more secure in yourself!

  • Thank you for posting these very helpful tips Dayton.

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