Everyone’s mom always told them to stand up straight and most children rolled their eyes and went on their way. The mothers of the world, however, knew what they were talking about when they told you to stand up straight. As time goes on, more and more studies are being released regarding good posture and its role in overall health. In general, maintaining a healthy posture is critical to strengthening your spine and reducing the likelihood of headaches, back pain, and quite a few additional ailments.
When a person’s practices good postures, they are able to keep their spine’s natural curves in place. Every spine has a cervical curve, thoracic curve, and lumbar curve. These three curves compose a healthy spine. When a person slouches or fails to exercise good posture, much pressure is placed on the muscles surrounding these curves, causing pulled muscles or pain. Improper posture can also contribute to balancing issues, limitations in flexibility, and the weakening of bones and muscles.
In order to maintain good posture and thus good overall health, keep these tips in mind:
- Shoulders should be kept back and relaxed
- Abdomen should be pulled in
- Weight should be evenly distributed to both feet
- Feet should be a hip distance apart
- Keep hands hanging to the side the way they are naturally comfortable
If you are still not 100 percent sure that you are exercising good posture, we suggest the “wall test”. Simply stand at the wall with your buttocks, head, and shoulder blades all touching and then place your heels about 2-4 inches from the wall. Now, slide your hand to gauge the curves of your lower back, where your palm is placed flat against the wall. There should be a space between your back and the wall at about the thickness of your hand. Keep this posture even as you walk away from the wall.
It is also important to keep a good posture while sitting. Far too many individuals fail to sit up straight and thus place themselves in a position to develop spine issues. At the end of the day, posture is achieved with practice. The more you actively maintain good posture, the easier and more natural it will eventually become.