The life-long benefits of ‘Good Posture’
Posture is getting worse. Yet, it’s one of the most important factors in sustaining a long and happy life.
If you constantly slump, slouch or hunch down when you’re at work, you may be opening yourself up to a world of pain in the not so distant future.
Prolonged sitting at work and constantly looking down at your smartphones are two of the biggest factors of poor posture in the modern age. And, if you fail to address your postural shortcomings today, you will suffer tomorrow.
To put the importance of good posture into perspective, here we explore why standing or sitting badly will affect your physical and mental wellbeing. We’ll also look at some top tips to help you improve your posture.
Why should I improve my posture, anyway?
Good posture is indeed one of the key ingredients of a happy, healthy, and possibly longer life. Even the smallest adjustments can make a world of difference in the long run.
To inspire you to sit up straight and take notice, here are the four reasons you should improve your posture, today.
Poor posture is linked to a wealth of physical ailments. According to Harvard Health, bad posture at work is linked to issues including incontinence, constipation, and digestive problems.
Slouching when you stand or unsuitable work stations are also responsible for reduced muscle function, poor joint alignment, scoliosis, constant fatigue, potbelly, and all manner of aches and pains.
The flipside: Improving your posture will make you feel energized, help you digest nutrients better, and eliminate a range of physical ailments that can seriously hinder your everyday life.
Energy and emotional management
There are surprising and prominent links between posture and mood. If you slouch or sit hunched over with your head down, you’re likely to feel less confident and less exuberant or energetic as a result.
As posture directly affects your mood and energy levels, it can also alter your reactivity. If your mood is worsened, you will find managing your emotions tougher.
Speaking on the link between posture and mood, Richard Petty, professor of psychology at Ohio State University, said:
“It can be difficult to distinguish real confidence from a confidence that comes from just standing up straight … these things go both ways just like happiness leads to smiling, but also smiling leads to happiness.”
The flipside: Sit up straight, work smarter, avoid sitting down for excessively long periods and you will feel happier, confident, and more energized.
In addition to immediate ailments, chronically poor posture can lead to, well, chronic illness.
Prolonged poor posture can lead to a range of chronic physical pains and setbacks—it can also increase your risk of certain cancers or coronary issues. That’s serious.
Need we say more? Bad posture choices over time can lead to chronic as well as terminal health problems. It’s time to make a change.
The flipside: Improve your posture and you will significantly reduce the risk of crippling chronic pains or life-threatening health conditions.
Sitting badly and walking with a slouch can age joints, organs, and even your external appearance.
Life is precious, so the last thing any of us wants is to age prematurely. Also, looking and feeling good will lead to a happier existence.
Ever heard of ‘tech neck’? Check this is out and we’re pretty sure you’ll want to avoid it at all costs.
The flipside: Take measures to power up your posture and you will look and feel great for longer. You will also steer clear of ‘tech neck’.
How to improve your posture long-term?
At this point, you will know poor posture is bad for you—probably worse for you than you originally thought.
But, don’t fear, here are some posture-enhancing tips that will change your life for the better.
The smallest adjustments can make a significant difference in your physical and mental wellbeing. If you’re more mindful about your movements and tune into your body throughout the day, you will be able to make tiny tweaks that will eventually lead to a naturally better posture.
These tweaks include:
- Keep a Post-It note on your desk that reminds you to adjust your posture when you’re working.
- Look at your smartphone less and have regular screen breaks throughout the day.
- Practice neutral posture at work and make sure your screen is positioned at eye level. Ensure your feet are firmly planted on the ground, shoulder-width apart. And, if you can, stand up at work for a good portion of your day.
- Look ahead when you’re walking, and avoid rolling your shoulders forward.
Believe it or not, you can adopt poor postural habits in your sleep. If you’re contorted or hunched up in a pretzel-like ball when sleeping, you will eventually run into health problems.
Investing in a good mattress and pillow combination will help you avoid such issues. Also, sleeping on your side with your neck and spine, straight and aligned will enhance your sleep posture. Or laying on your back, ensuring you’re supporting the natural curvature of your spine is a good option if you don’t like sleeping on your side.
Ergonomics are your friend. Considering you spend so much time at work, it’s important that you look after your wellbeing when you’re in the zone.
To complement your posture-improving efforts, you should invest in specialist ergonomic equipment or innovations that will help you retain healthy habits.
One of the best choices you can make, concerning posture, is investing in the right standing desk.
If you use a standing desk that promotes good posture and makes standing at work seamlessly, you will steer clear of all the health issues mentioned here, feeling energized both, during and after work. A no-brainer.
A good stance and posture reflect a proper state of mind.”—Morihei Ueshiba
We hope this has inspired you to improve your posture. And, if you’re currently working from home, your employer has a duty of care to you. Here’s what you should be entitled to when working from home.