Why Should You Have Good Posture?

You know poor posture affects your back, but you’d be shocked at the other ways a slumped back can cause permanent damage.

Why good posture is important, woman practicing good posture

You likely ignored it when you’re mom reprimanded you for not sitting up straight (unless you were a particularly angelic child), but your mom’s warnings were actually totally right. Posture has a lot more effect on our bodies than we realize.

For example, research showed that women who slump and look at the ground while walking (in other words, had poor posture) were more likely to be mugged than women who walked quickly and with their heads up.

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Or if you’re wondering what areas of your body posture affects, the simple answer is nearly everything, according to a NY Times article by Jane Brody. “Poor posture can have ill effects that radiate throughout the body, causing back and neck pain, muscle fatigue, breathing limitations, arthritic joints, digestive problems, and mood disturbances,” Brody wrote.

Mentally, good posture can increase your confidence, and even more impressively, help those with depression feel happier and less fatigued.

We’re not saying improving your posture will fix all your problems, but it can definitely help. So, how do you improve your posture? If you’re sitting at a desk all day, hunched over your keyboard, there are a few tricks to help fix your posture and begin to feel great again!

Put your phone down more often

Most of us don’t consider what's happening to our bodies when we stare down at our phones. But Harvard professor, Amy Cuddy says it’s creating a permanent forward slump in the upper back for younger and younger individuals. She likes to refer to it as iPosture.

“The average head weighs about 10 to 12 pounds,” Cuddy wrote in a column in The New York Times. “When we bend our necks forward 60 degrees, as we do to use our phones, the effective stress on our neck increases to 60 pounds—the weight of about five gallons of paint.”

Practice a shoulder roll while you sit

Esther Gokhale, who The New York Times referred to as the “Posture Guru of Silicon Valley,” recommends an exercise for slowly recuperating your alignment (and we’d listen to her, because that is no small title).

1. While sitting in your chair, lift one shoulder and roll it back as far as you comfortably can without moving your body around

2. Then, let your shoulder blade slide down along your spine

Hop on the yoga trend

If you really want to fix your posture for the long-term, you need to strengthen your core and lower back muscles, according to WebMD. There are several exercises that help you do this, but it turns out that downward dog in yoga is a really easy way to get started.

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Don’t neglect the small fixes

In only seconds, you can adjust little things that are impacting your posture. For example, as you read this, are you looking down at your computer screen? Extend it so it's at eye level, and you’re already one small step closer to improving your posture.

Small changes you start right now can lead to great gains in the long run. Try some of these simple techniques, and you’re closer to a healthier and taller you.

Check out other healthy living articles.

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