Posture refers to bodily position, including sitting, standing or lying down, with respect to gravity. While good posture ensures an even distribution of gravitational effects throughout the body, a bad posture puts undue pressure on various joints, ligaments, and muscles; resulting in injury and eventual bone deformity.
Long works hours that require constant standing or sitting, along with ‘text neck’, i.e. a bent neck due to regular cell phone use below eye level are the common culprits of slouching or bad posture. Other reasons for bad posture include wearing high heels, pregnancy, and obesity. Following are a few benefits of good posture to create an added incentive for you to correct your posture and avoid slouching.
1- Improved Confidence:
Medical specialists says that standing ‘tall and straight’ not only boosts your confidence, energy, and self-esteem but also projects a positive, assertive and trustworthy appearance onto others, as opposed to constant ‘slouching’ with head and shoulders bent.
2- Easy, Deep Breathing:
Habitual slouching can over-shorten the muscles and tendons in the torso, which reduces breathing volume and causes muscle tightness in the upper body that eventually results in breathing difficulties when attempts are made to stand or sit straighter. Good posture is particularly necessary for people suffering from panic disorders, as poor poses can reduce breath-ability and make breathing control difficult.
3- Looking Younger and Slimmer:
A correct posture can prevent the formation of an unnatural neck and back humps, as well as breast sagging in women. Moreover, belly protrusions that result from slouching can also be evaded, making you look slimmer and taller.
4- Body Alignment:
A straight posture removes the extra-head weight from muscles, tendons, and ligaments as a result of leaning forward, allowing the spine and bones to support its weight instead; hence aligning the body to optimize muscle use and prevent muscle fatigue. Proper alignment also helps prevent the wear down of joint surfaces, which results in arthritis and joint pain; and injuries, such as disk slips and trapped nerves. This is particularly important and if you are having trouble, then get in touch with the best spine surgeon in Karachi for help.
5- Regulated Bowel Movements:
Gastric issues like acid reflux, constipation, and hernias, along with bloating and gas caused Irritable Bowel Syndrome can be avoided or improved by practicing good posture, as it lifts the weight off of the compressed digestive organs; allowing them to resume their normal functions.
6- A Healthy Spine:
With an increase in ‘sitting occupations’, back pain has become one of the most common reasons for doctor’s appointments in Pakistan. However, the muscular strain and spinal stress, that results in pain, anatomical changes like humps and constriction of blood vessels and nerves can be avoided through good posture and adequate back support.
7- Improved Brain Function:
The enhanced breath-ability increases the brain’s oxygen supply, resulting in improved learning abilities and memory retention. Moreover, good posture also elevates testosterone (the male hormone) and reduces cortisol, or ‘stress hormone’ levels, resulting in improved concentration and mental performance, which is further fueled by good posture-induced confidence.
How To Improve:
Long-term poor posture can result in several bone deformities, restriction of movement and injuries. However, these habits can be reversed through proper practice.
Stand with your head, shoulders, and back against a wall with the heels of your feet approximately 5-6 inches apart and your hands hanging at the sides, making sure that your body-weight is borne by the soles. Pull in the muscles in your lower abdomen while decreasing the arch in your lower back and move away from the wall. Maintain this pose for a few seconds and repeat; this time without the wall.
Instead of hanging your feet mid-air, place them on the floor or on a footrest. Relax your shoulders and maintain the position while keeping your forearms parallel to the ground and your knees at or below hip level. Also, ensure that your entire back is supported by the backrest and get up every 30-45 minutes to walk around or stretch.
3- Lying Down:
Your mattress must be comfortable, whether it is soft or hard, Also, make sure that your pillow is an elevated position with respect to your body, to improve blood circulation and avoid sleeping on your stomach.
Since posture issues usually arise from core muscle weakness and tightness, consider gentle muscle strengthening exercises such as yoga or light-weight lifting, while making sure to keep your shoulders and shoulder blades lowered, with your chest and face up and forward in order to improve muscle strength. Also, remember to exercise regularly and learn the proper posture, or ‘form’ for a particular exercise to avoid muscular and skeletal damage.
If you feel that your posture is incorrect, consult with your doctor on posture improvement. Here at oladoc, we help you find and book confirmed appointment with the top Orthopedic Surgeon in Lahore, Karachi, and rawalpindi. Moreover, you can also call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 and seek the best appointment with the surgeon near you.
About the Writer:
Yashfa Marrium is a freelance writer and health enthusiast. You can reach her at [email protected]