Good posture is about more than standing up straight so you can look your best. It is an important part of your long-term health.
There are two types of the posture:
Dynamic posture means that you keep your posture when moving, such as walking, running or bending down to pick up things.
Static posture is how you hold yourself when you are not moving, like when you are sitting, standing, or sleeping.
It is important to make sure that you have good dynamic and static posture.
The key to good posture is the position of the spine. Your spine has three natural curves - in your neck, mid back and lower back. Proper form should maintain these curves, not increase them. Your head should be over your shoulders, and the tops of your shoulders should be over your hips.
How can posture affect my health?
Poor posture can be bad for your health. Slouching or slumping over can:
- Misalign your musculoskeletal system
- Wear away at your spine, making it more fragile and prone to injury
- Cause neck, shoulder, and back pain
- Decrease your flexibility
- Affect how well your joints move
- Affect your balance and increase your risk of falling
- Make it harder to breathe
How can I improve my posture when sitting?
Many Americans spend a lot of their time sitting - either at work, at school, or at home. It is important to sit properly, and to take frequent breaks:
changing posture frequently
Take a walk around your office or home
Gently stretch your muscles now and then to help relieve muscle tension
Don't cross your legs; place your feet on the floor with your ankles in front of your knees
Make sure your feet touch the floor, if that's not possible, use a foot pedal
Relax your shoulders; they should not be rounded or pulled back
Keep your elbows close to your body. They should be bent 90 to 120 degrees.
Make sure your back is well supported. If your chair doesn't have a backrest that can support the curve of your lower back, use a back pillow or other back support, or an ergonomic office chair.
Make sure your thighs and hips are supported. You should have a well-padded seat, and your thighs and buttocks should be parallel to the floor.