Great wellbeing is all about feeling healthy, energetic, confident and resilient. It’s also about taking small, consistent, positive steps that add up to dramatic results over time.
Thankfully, there’s one thing that everyone can focus on every day that will improve focus and mood immediately while establishing the foundations for fantastic results with many other areas of healthy living. All you need to do is check your body position regularly and ensure you sit, stand and move with good posture at all times.
Psychologically it’s great. By adopting good posture you’re looking after your wellbeing every day and when you know this is happening you’re far more likely to take further positive healthy actions.
Here are 7 reasons why good posture matters:
1. Good posture makes a great impression in the workplace
Sit upright in the office (real or virtual) and you look alert. Stand with good posture and you look energetic. Move with good posture and you look in control. This is important for how others perceive you. You can also be a great role model for ensuring others observe good posture too.
2. Good posture helps you concentrate
When you sit or stand upright your head moves back to a position better supported above your body, taking strain off your neck, your shoulders relax and fall backwards and your chest opens allowing you to breath deeply into your lungs which, in turn, assists oxygen transfer to the brain. This greater uptake of oxygen will help you think more clearly and make better decisions.
3. Good posture reduced the risk of injury
Every minute of the day that your body is slouched or misaligned could contribute to nagging aches and pains or even chronic injury in the long term. This could manifest itself in back pain, tight shoulders, headaches or even eye strain if you’re regularly hunched over your computer, workstation or laptop. On the other hand, every minute of the day when you practice good posture contributes towards reducing the risk of unwanted tightness and imbalances in your body.
4. Good posture reduces stress
Many people hold a lot of stress and tension in their upper back, shoulders and neck. Sitting and standing up straight and taking a few deep breaths can instantly relieve this tension.
5. Good posture can help you sleep
With your body and mind working more effectively thanks to good posture you will be less likely to hold physical and mental tension throughout the day which can then intrude on your sleep when you try to settle down to sleep at night. Easing daily tension with good posture will enable you to relax the body and clear the mind more easily through the evening.
6. Good posture makes you fitter and stronger
The more often you practice good posture, the more regularly you are strengthening key muscle groups and maintaining flexibility throughout the body. This not only improves how you feel physically each day but when you come to work out or take part in sports your body will be working as it should be and not trying to iron out imbalances created by your working position while you’re trying to enjoy your leisure activities.
7. Good posture can help you lose weight
Slouching compromises your digestive system meaning that, no matter how good your healthy eating routine, you many not be able to process what you consume efficiently. Improving how you sit and stand will allow your body to work effectively in all processes, including digestion.
So now we’re clear on why good posture matters, here are 4 easy ways to maintain it through through the day.
1. Set a calendar reminder every 90-minutes then check your posture and sit up straight. Aim for a position where you could draw a vertical line from your ear lobes through to your shoulders and down to your hips. Your head should be above your body and not drooping forwards towards your desk.
2. Sit or stand upright, take a breath to relax your shoulders and then roll your shoulders backwards and make five large circles this way before performing five forward shoulder rolls.
3. Sit upright, take a breath and with your hands dangling to the sides of your chair, your shoulders relaxed and your eyes looking straight forwards, gently lower one ear towards the shoulder on that side while pushing the hand on the other side towards the floor. Hold this position for 5 seconds, relax and do the same on the other side. Repeat until you've completed five neck stretches on each side.
4. Sit or stand upright and turn your head to one side as far as you can, keeping your shoulders relaxed. Hold this position for 4 seconds before turning your head to the other side to hold for 4 seconds. Repeat this process three times and then return to work.