How many of you remember walking with a book on your head to teach yourself how to stand up straight? I remember seeing characters in TV shows with books on their heads and of course we all wanted to have a perfect posture like Miss America.
The whole month of May is dedicated to learning about and making sure that we have a correct posture.
I myself struggle with this. I have a birth defect in my back that I didn’t know about until I was in my teens. The defect causes me to not stand up as straight as I could. After I had back surgery my doctor told me that I would never be able to sit straight in a chair. I will always need to lean back or to lean forward.
I was never able to sit straight at the piano. The piano bench was one of the worse things for my back. I remember only being able to sit on the bench for five minutes and then not being able to stand up correctly after those five minutes for a while until my back straightened itself out again. What a pain!
Any who, let see what we can learn about having a correct posture.
Good Posture vs. Bad Posture
- Good posture keeps bones and joints in the correct alignment so that muscles are being used properly.
- Some muscles will become tight and inflexible.
- Other muscles will become inhibited.
- Poor posture can make you more at risk for accidents.
- Good posture decreases the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces.
- Poor posture increases the wear and tear on your joints and ligaments.
- Prevents the spine from becoming locked in abnormal positions.
- Prevents fatigue because muscles are being used more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energy.
- Prevents backache and muscular pain.
- If you posture isn’t at it’s best your muscles have to work harder to keep you standing upright and balanced.
- Contributes to a thinner and more youthful appearance.
- Poor posture can make internal organs like your lungs less efficient.
Did you Know?
- Your posture can determine how your body deals with stresses like carrying weight or sitting in an awkward position.
- Poor posture can influence your emotional state and your sensitivity to pain.
- Health, fitness and wellness centers offer free posture checks for this month?
Daily Activites that Promote Poor Posture
- Sitting at the computer for a long time.
- Bring your monitor up to eye level
- Use a chair with arm supports to rest your arms near your body
- Use a headset for phone calls
- Using a mobile phone for texting.
What Does Good Posture Look Like?
- From the side your posture should have three curves
- One at the neck
- One at your shoulders
- One at the small of your back
- If you are standing straight you should be able to draw a straight line from:
- In front of your shoulders
- To behind your hip
- To the front of your knee
- To a few inches in front of your ankle
How to Improve Your Posture
- If you sit for long periods of time, break those long periods into shorter ones and get up and move around.
- If you are carrying something, keep it closer to your body.
- If you are carrying a backpack make sure it is in contact with your back, not too heavy and is symmetrical with your back.
- Sleep on your side with your neck supported and a pillow between your knees.
- Exercise! Choose an exercise that is good for you!
So maybe in this case, mom did know best when she was always on our backs about standing up straight!