May is Good Posture Month

May is: Correct Posture Month

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?

Good Posture vs Bad PostureDaily 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!


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