Improve Your Posture

Your posture affects more than just your appearance; good posture helps prevent injuries, aches, pain, and disease. It even helps promotes healthy aging. Learning the health benefits of good posture and how to hold your body are the first steps to improve your posture.

Practicing good posture now can help prevent aches, pain, injuries, alignment disorders, and loss of mobility as you get older. Click To Tweet

What is posture?

Posture refers to how you hold, or position, your body. Posture applies when you stand, sit, sleep, work, and play. It matters while you watch your favorite show, while you ride your bike, while you play an instrument, and in everything else that you do.

Dynamic posture is how you hold yourself while moving, while static posture is how you hold yourself while being still: sitting, standing, and lying down.

Good posture means positioning your body so that the different parts of your body are properly aligned and supported by the muscles in the body.

Poor posture can cause various issues that affect your quality of life:

  • aches and pains in neck, shoulders, back, muscles, and joints
  • limited range of motion
  • misalignment of the musculoskeletal system
  • reduced flexibility
  • lowered sense of balance
  • breathing problems
  • digestive problems

Good posture helps promote good health

Maintaining proper posture can be challenging; it takes body awareness and a conscious effort. Good posture is worth the effort, however:

  • Keep bones and joints in proper alignment.
  • Promote better breathing; good posture helps open airways.
  • Promote efficient muscle engagement; good posture conserves energy and reduces muscle fatigue.
  • Reduce the wear on joints and bones — this helps prevent joint pain and arthritis.
  • Reduce stress on bones, joints, ligaments, and connective tissues.
  • Prevent headaches.
  • Reduce back pain and joint pain.
  • Prevent muscle overuse injuries and disorders.
  • Improve your mood.

What is good posture?

Sitting

Sit on an even surface. Your knees should be level with your hips, or below the level of your hips.

Sit with your feet flat on the floor, or on a footrest. Your ankles should be in front of your knees; don’t cross your legs.

Use a back rest to support your lower and middle back. Keep your shoulders back, but relaxed (as opposed to slumped forward). Keep your forearms parallel to the ground

Your head and shoulders should be in line with the hips, and your chin should be parallel to the floor.

Keep your core engaged slightly as you sit, and move often; don’t sit in the same position for a long time. Stretch, stand, and take brief walks.

Standing

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Keep your weight distributed evenly between both feet, with most of your weight on the balls of your feet.

Knees should be slightly bent and not locked.

Keep your shoulders pulled back in a relaxed position. Your arms should hang naturally at your sides; slightly engage your core.

Stand up tall with your head level — don’t crane your neck up or down. Your ears should be in line with your shoulders.

As with sitting, you want to avoid standing in the same position for a long time.

Lying down

Sleeping flat on your back is the best posture for sleeping as it helps keeps your head, neck, and spine in a neutral position.

The American Chiropractic Association recommends that you avoid sleeping on your stomach.

Ways to improve posture

Once you understand what good posture is, make a mindful effort to practice good posture. You may have to consciously practice good posture until it becomes natural for you.

Maintaining a healthy weight can help improve your posture.

Overly tight muscles can pull parts of your body out of neutral position, affecting your posture. Manage stress and consider visiting with a medical professional to relieve muscle tension in the body.

Regular physical activity can help improve your posture. Muscle strengthening exercises can help build the muscles that support the body. Activities such as yoga that focus on the positioning of your body can also help you improve your posture.

Chiropractic doctors can help you correct your posture. Chiropractors can help you understand proper body positioning and provide you with exercises and techniques to improve your posture.

Talk with the chiropractic doctors at Millennium Chiropractic in Northwest Arkansas today.