Many people think that the term ‘posture’ refers to the way a person stands or sits, but the word posture actually refers to the alignment of joints, and is normally associated with the curves of your spine and the position of your head and pelvis. Many people think that an improved posture only affects how appealing or ‘well-groomed’ a person looks physically, but few know that a good posture is conducive to a healthy lifestyle. It is just as important as healthy eating, exercising, sleeping well and avoiding habits such as drinking and smoking. Good posture helps in doing things with more energy, less stress and fatigue. Without good posture, one cannot be fit.
Not only do you look better and stand taller, a good posture restores balance to the body and there is less energy required to do a task with a good posture than a bad one. Some studies, like the one being conducted by Carney and colleagues found that expansive postures led individuals to experience elevated testosterone (T) and decreased cortisol (C). This neuroendocrine profile of High T and Low C has been consistently linked to such outcomes as disease resistance and leadership abilities. So standing taller makes all the difference to your personality and status.
When standing straight the body breathes a sigh of relief… literally. Breathing becomes so much easier when a person stands straighter. The body was built to function without a slouch, and a good posture returns it to its most efficient. It also leads to better circulation in digestion, good posture increases lung capacity, aiding oxygen transport and nutrition around the body. Upright open postures also allows more room in the abdominal cavity, this improves your health by allowing your organs to function more easily.
Everyone needs a healthy backbone! In addition, a correct posture is a simple but very important way to keep the many intricacies in the back and spine healthy. Back support is especially important for desk workers, who spend many hours sitting in an office chair or standing throughout the day. Neglecting posture and proper back support can substantially increase strain on the muscles and put stress on the spine. Due to this, the anatomical characteristics of the spine may change, leading to the possibility of constricted blood vessels and nerves.
A good healthy posture is defined as such:
Standing posture is when the following are properly aligned:
- The points between your eyes, chin, collarbone, breastbone, pubic area and midpoint between your ankles,
- From the side, one should be able to see the three natural curves in the back,
- From the front, your shoulders, hips and knees should be of equal height,
- Your head must be held straight, not tilted or turned to one side… and
- From the back, the little bumps on your spine should be in a straight line down the center of your back.
If your posture does not fit the description, it is best to see a chiropractor to start you on your way to a healthy posture; it is a secret to the good life!