When we were kids, our elderly always used to tell us to sit straight. But most of us never give our ears to their pieces of advice. We slouch and keep our back curved most of the time during the day. One should not underestimate the role of correct posture for a healthy body. Let’s find out what is an ideal posture.
Correct or ideal posture is the proper alignment of the body’s parts naturally, thus avoiding excess load on any particular body part. A correct posture keeps our body in a relaxed state. In a state of an ideal posture, our musculoskeletal system (bones, muscles, and supporting tendons) is neutral or naturally aligned while standing or sitting. The spine plays a crucial role in maintaining our posture.
When viewed laterally or sideways, our spine has three natural curves:
- First, in the neck area, where the spine bends inwards.
- The second is the thoracic or upper back area, where the spine bends outwards.
- The third is the lumbar or the lower back region, where the spine again curves inwards.
A proper posture is when our vertebrae, muscles, and tendons support our body with the minimum tension and stress.
If we slouch, the natural curve of our spine is disturbed and puts excess pressure on our neck and back.
Causes of poor posture
Some peculiar identifiers of a poor posture are slouching, hunching your back, bent knees, shoulder blades arching backwards, weak abdominal muscles, and forward bending of the head.
Sometimes people don’t even realize that they are sitting or standing in the wrong posture. A poor body posture can be due to:
- Lack of knowledge of correct posture
- Heavy backpacks may cause slouching in children.
- Carrying laptop bags on our backs can also cause poor posture
- Spending most of the time in front of computer or tablets for work without proper table and chair arrangement
- Muscle weakness
- Joint problems
Benefits of good posture
Posture affects our well-being more than we can even imagine. Proper posture can keep our bones, muscles, and joints in optimal health. The benefits of good postures are many. Some of them are:
- The correct alignment of our spine puts less pressure on our bodies. Poor posture can put tension on our neck and back muscles, tendons, and vertebrae that can cause neck and back pain. A proper posture can reduce the risk of neck and back pain.
- Proper posture improves our digestion. A curved posture while working or sitting while looking at mobiles puts pressure on our abdominal organs and increases the risk of indigestion and acid reflux.
- The correct alignment of our body also has an impact on our moods.
- Sitting or standing straight improves our spine health by putting less strain on it.
How to correct posture
The correct posture improves blood flow to our bones and joints. It also keeps our nervous system healthy. Neck and back pain are the most common side effects of improper sitting posture. It’s our habit to slouch when we are not conscious about our posture. Maintaining an ideal posture needs need strong willpower and continuous effort. Many therapies are available to treat poor posture. With some modifications in our daily routine, we can improve our posture:
- Balancing exercises and workouts to strengthen abdominal and back muscles
- High heels put extra pressure on our back and leg muscles. So, try to avoid them and wear comfortable shoes while working long hours to put less pressure on muscles.
- Girls tend to carry extra things in their bags. So, avoid a heavy purse or bag as it can put extra strain on the neck and back and shift your posture by bending it towards the side with the weight.
- Do not carry bags, backpacks, or briefcases over one shoulder. Instead, put them on both shoulders to distribute the weight evenly.
- Furniture should be posture-friendly and fit your body ergonomically.
- While sitting on the desk, try to maintain correct posture by sitting straight against the chair’s back with knees at the level of the hip. If our knees are not at the hip level, try to level up either by placing a cushion beneath you or using a footrest under your feet.
- Adjust the chair so that your working desk should be at your elbow’s height and sit with straight shoulders.
- While working, try to remain conscious about your posture and don’t bend on your computer or mobile.
- Screens should be at the level of your eyes to prevent hunching of the back.
- Continuously remind your children to sit or stand straight till they develop the habit of correct posture.
- Take small breaks while working and do some stretching and walking to relax muscles and joints.
With some of these modifications, we can correct our posture. If we can not improve our posture with these techniques, we can use some posture correcting devices available in the market after consulting with the doctor. Good posture can prevent pain, injuries, and many health problems. With some practice, you can improve your posture and enjoy better health.