A healthy posture is a subtle yet very important part of overall health. People with good posture tend to be more confident, seem more confident and knowledgeable to others, and have fewer back and neck pains. Proper posture allows the body to walk, sit, stand, and lie down in positions which put the least amount of stress on your muscles and the less stressed your muscles are the less they will ache or get stiff. Maintaining a better posture in your younger years can reduce the amount of back pain felt as you age, and correcting your posture at any time in your life can reduce both current and future back pain. But as more people use more technology for ever increasing times it becomes harder to keep up proper posture.
Frequent use of cellphones, tablets, keyboards, and video game systems can easily break a person’s posture and leave them leaning forward or bending their neck down over extended periods of time. Becoming accustomed to this position can lead to it becoming your constant posture, and lead to problems later in life with pain. The longer you allow yourself to be in poor postures the more strain your muscles are under and the more damage it can do.
The best ways to defend against this is to practice maintaining a proper posture as much as possible and to strengthen the muscles so they become less at risk of strain when you do lapse in perfect posture. Luckily this can be achieved through simple exercises and stretching, making it quick and easy for anyone to do. Exercises that strengthen your upper back and shoulders, the pectoral muscles, and focus on diaphragm centered breathing all help relieve tension in the back, shoulders, and neck and the body recover from strains. To practice healthy posture you can stand with your shoulders, upper back, and bottom touching the wall with your feet a couple of inches away from the wall. The space between your lower back and the wall should be just the right size to fit your hands. Once in this position, step away from the wall and maintain it for as long as you can.
In order to make using your favorite devices less likely to sabotage your efforts, place your keyboards at elbow height so that your hands can rest on the desk while you type, position screens and try to keep cell phones at eye level so you neither have to look up or down for extended periods of time, and use a chair that lets both your feet touch the floor. Taking breaks to stand, stretch, or walk every hour helps too.
With time, practiced posture becomes your natural, most comfortable position which you will find yourself maintaining at all times. Once that happens, you’ll be on your way to a more comfortable and confident you for years and years to come.
By Samantha Dillon, DR Vitamin Solutions