Take a stand for good posture

Picture this: You are seven years old and sitting at the kitchen table for dinner. Your shoulders are hunched forward as you hover over your plate of food. Something pokes you between your shoulder blades. It’s your mother.

“You better sit up straight or you will look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame,” she reprimands.

Several years later, some of us wish we had heeded our mothers’ warnings. Although, you may not look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, you may be experiencing some symptoms that poor posture has inflicted upon your body.

Looking back, what would you tell your childhood self about practicing good posture?

Well, let’s get back to the basics.

What exactly is posture?

Posture, in general, is the way you hold your body. Good posture is when your muscles, bones and joints are all in proper alignment.

Why is good posture important?

Maintaining good posture is important to preserving your health. Good posture helps to keep your bones and joints in alignment and decreases the risk of additional wear and tear on your musculoskeletal system. You may be able to stave off degenerative arthritis because of the reduced stress on your body that good posture encourages. Correct posture decreases the stress on your ligaments and muscles, helping to prevent unnecessary muscle strain.

Neglecting to practice proper posture may affect your body later on in life. A lack of good posture puts additional strain on your body, creating up to 50 percent more pressure on your back. The additional pressure on your back may cause early onset of osteoarthritis or degenerative disc disease. Your spine may also become fixated in an abnormal position.

You may not be able to go back in time to correct your poor posture, but it’s not too late to start practicing proper posture now. There are several solutions to improving your posture – more than just sitting up straight. Here are some tips:

  1. Opt for an ergonomic office chair
  2. Avoid crossing your knees or ankles
  3. Make sure the armrests on your chair are properly adjusted
  4. Keep your feet flat on the floor or on a stool when sitting
  5. Ensure that you stand up straight with your shoulders back and head forward

So start now. Don’t wait to start practicing good posture. The adjustment may save you from staring at your feet for the rest of your life.

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