Although young people might not understand the importance of posture, adults feel the effects of misalignment through persistent aches, involuntary spasms and shooting pains.
Aligned posture is the optimal position of your body that reduces the strain placed on bones, joints and ligaments while standing, sitting or lying down.
And while misalignment is caused by more than slouching (lifestyle, weight, injury, exercise to name a few), here are 7 major benefits of (re)training your body to stand, sit and lay in more efficient ways…
1. You Address The Cause Of Pain
These are some of the benefits of re-aligning the body:
- Preventing backache and muscular pain by making sure that bones and joints are in correct position.
- Decreasing the abnormal wear and tear on joints -- especially weight-bearing joints like ankles, knees and hips.
- Prevents tightness and fatigue as muscles are used more efficiently when the body is in proper alignment.
2. You Reduce Future Health Issues
Aligned posture decreases the risks of suffering from slipped discs, chronic backaches, headaches -- and even shortness of breath and/or conditions that arise from poor circulation, all of which pose significant long-term health challenges.
Aligned posture also prevents the spine from becoming fixed in abnormal positions, making sure that individuals can live healthy lifestyles well into their old age.
3. It Helps You Breathe
I certainly hope so!
However, an aligned posture will help you breathe better, naturally enabling you to enjoy deeper, fuller breaths.
Sitting and standing straight provides room for your lungs to expand and contract with each breath, allows them to reach their full capacity and fill with oxygen.
Poor posture closes the chest and compacts the abdomen, limiting the function of the diaphragm -- the main breathing muscle.
Over time, both of these factors combined may cause chronic shortness of breath which can lead to more severe heart and lung issues.
4. It Regulates Bowel Movements
Poor posture can negatively impact your ability to do just that on regular basis.
That's because when you sit or stand with bad posture, your intestines become folded up inside of you. This can cause a slowing down of bowel movements and can lead to constipation.
Sitting and standing straight allow your intestines to sit properly within your body, facilitating the natural (and regular) movement of bowels.
Pro tip: try the Squatty Potty to help improve your posture while you are on the throne.
5. Makes You Happier
In the experiment, people who were asked to walk in a slouched position, reported increased feelings of depression and much lower energy than the control group.
A study performed at Harvard took that experiment a step forward, and proved that posture impacts the chemistry of our brain.
The study showed that when people stood with open shoulders and straight spines, their testosterone levels increased by 20 percent, while cortisol levels decreased by 25 percent. This is a significant finding, as testosterone is a chemical associated with confidence and happiness, while cortisol produces stress and anxiety.
The same experiment found that people who slouched had a 10% decrease in testosterone and a 15% increase in cortisol.
It just goes to show how important body language and posture is to your overall mood and health.
6. You Look Better (you sexy thing)
Aligned posture allows you to move balanced and steady. It also gives your body length and appears more graceful.
Think of the people you find attractive. Do they slouch, or stand tall and proud?
7. Increased Confidence
Sit or stand up straight.
Researchers in New Zealand found that proper posture is associated with higher self-esteem, less social fear and fewer negative emotions. Participants reported feeling more enthusiastic, excited, and strong.
The participants with poor posture reported feeling more fearful, hostile, nervous, quiet, still, passive, dull, sleepy, and sluggish.
So the next time you to put your best foot forward, start by aligning yourself and standing tall.
A Quick Lesson In Self Alignment
When standing, your body should be aligned so that you can draw an imaginary line from your earlobe through your shoulder, hip, knee and the middle of your ankle.
When sitting, good posture means that your back is straight, your buttocks are at the back of your chair, and your feet are planted firmly on the ground.
Retraining your body to sit, stand and lay with good posture takes some effort. It means reducing unhealthy habits like slouching at your desk and constantly looking down at your phone.
Good posture makes you feel better about yourself, and allows you to live a healthier happier lifestyle. So why not start acting on it now?
Three things you can to improve your posture.
2. Save and print our easy-to-use Great Posture Cheatsheet. Then tape it to the wall nearest to your desk. This guide will teach you all the techniques you need to quickly improve your posture and will remind you to focus.