The term posture is used to describe how someone stands or sits. What we consider to be “good” posture is when one’s head, shoulders, neck, and back are in proper alignment. One should be able to hold this position while relaxed and should not experience any discomfort or strain from any muscle groups. This upright position is best achieved by standing as straight as possible, tucking in the chin, and pulling the shoulders down and backwards which puffs out the chest. One’s back ought to be in a comfortable, slightly curved position with the feet spaced shoulder-width apart and shoulders retracted.
Maintaining this upright posture is necessary to alleviate neck and back pain, and doing this can prevent it in the first place. This is due to the fact that an upright posture will align the spine to its proper position. When trying to perform good posture, it is important not to hyper-extend your body or to stand unusually straight. Our body, specifically the spine, has a natural “S” shape and trying to straighten that can strain the lower back. Ideally, one should be able to keep their body relaxed and not slumped over.
There are many exercises that have been developed to train the muscles needed to maintain an upright posture. These exercises have both standing and sitting variations. Some examples of this are back stretches, shoulder rotations, and arm extensions. The purpose of these movements is to help one get accustomed to maintaining proper posture and developing the feel of it.
Many individuals work office jobs that requires them to sit in a chair for several hours a day. Often, people will eventually slouch forward and slump in their chair, which takes the spine out of proper alignment. One should be able to sit in an upright posture to reduce the risk of experiencing a back or neck strain from poor posture when sitting. One way to sidestep this problem is to simply purchase an ergonomic chair with great back and neck supports. However, the recommended solution that has many more practical applications is to understand how to properly distribute one’s weight when sitting, as well as how to sit in an upright posture.
Good sitting posture begins with firmly placing the feet on the ground. This provides the necessary support to keep the upper body and hips upright. One should focus their weight on the center of the chair so that it can be evenly distributed to the bottom. Next, the back should be pressing against the chair’s padding, leaving no gaps for the back to accidentally slump into. One’s shoulders should always be retracted down and back and the chest should stick out. Finally, the head and neck should be aligned with the shoulders to complete the upright posture.
There is a plethora of health benefits to maintaining upright posture. This position is known to reduce muscle stress, improve mood, and lead to general well being. Proper posture helps the body’s blood circulation and energy, creating a relaxing effect.
Many exercise routines cannot be attempted if one does not have good posture. Some examples of this are yoga, martial arts, and meditation. These training regimen rely on upright posture to help create internal energy within the body.