We all know if we have poor posture. We all know we should fix our posture. Unfortunately, just knowing we should make a positive change doesn’t mean we actually do it. Here are 6 reasons to work on improving your posture.
(1) Poor posture makes a poor first impression.
Much of our communication is non-verbal. Before we meet someone, right as we see them for the first time, they are communicating to us, without saying a word. If that is true for them, it is equally true for us. If you want to make a great first impression, make sure your posture communicates exactly what you want. Whether going for a job interview, negotiating the price of a car, or out on a first date, your body language is talking. Is it saying what you want it to say?
As someone who suffers from both migraines and cluster headaches, I live with the negative effects of poor posture. If you have a head tilted forward posture (tech neck/readers neck), you are straining the nerves and muscles in the back of your neck. For me, add that to an environmental trigger (stress, weather, strenuous physical activity, etc.) and boom, a day in a darkened room. Improved posture helps reduce the frequency and severity of headaches and migraines.
Physiology and psychology are intertwined; posture affects your mood. That link goes to a psychology today article on posture and depression, but even if you’re not depressed, just think about this; have you ever had a good belly laugh when hunched over? I haven’t. What do we do when we are nervous? Take a deep calming breath. But what does that do? A deep breath, filling our lungs, forces our heads up, our shoulders back, and our backs to straighten. That is the posture of confidence, and taking it gives us confidence.
Do you meditate? The first step of meditation is to assume your meditation posture, with proper spinal alignment, a spinal alignment which is identical to that of proper standing posture. If you have habituated yourself to poor posture, then during meditation you will either lose your meditation posture, or be forced to concentrate on posture rather than your particular process of meditation.
Let’s return to meditation. The second step of meditation is breathing; deep, regular, controlled breathing. If you have poor posture, you are giving up a significant portion of your lungs’ capacity. Try this experiment;
- Assume proper posture
- Breathe in fully
- Close off your airways
- Slump down
- Relax your airways.
Did you release a puff of air, before breathing out? The air you released is lung capacity not available for breathing when you hold yourself with poor posture. Whether meditating, exercising, or simply sitting at your desk working, that lung capacity is unavailable to you when you slouch.
(6) Visceral health.
When you hold yourself in a poor posture, it’s not just your lungs being compressed. Your entire abdominal cavity is being compressed, reducing oxygen and blood flow. This in turn is reducing the transport of nutrients and removal of wastes from the cells of your visceral organs. Proper posture relieves pressure on your viscera, improving function and health.
Breaking a bad habit is hard. I have found that focusing on a single thing, just one reason why I should change a habit helps. Perhaps focusing on one of these will help you improve your posture.
That’s all for now. Meantime, let’s all try to Stand Up Right