The Immense Benefits of Good Posture

Last Updated: 26.06.20

 

How many times have people told you to stand up straight or keep a good posture when sitting at your desk? You should follow such advice the best you can, as otherwise, you might need to look for more info here in case you end up in a wheelchair. Bad posture can seriously affect your spinal cord in time. You won’t notice when you’re young, but you’ll see it when you’re old.

 

Why having good posture matters

Good posture is important for maintaining balance. Standing up straight will put less pressure on your spine and weaken your chances of becoming paralyzed or suffering other severe complications such as having a hunch back. Good posture also helps you immensely when exercising, as it reduces the risk of injuries and increases your gains.

And even if you don’t exercise, keeping a good posture will benefit you immensely when doing basic things like walking down the block, up and down the stairs, and rising from a chair or looking behind you. Not to mention that you’ll look much better than walking with your back slanted forward. 

Good posture improves breathing

Most people already know that keeping your back straight, standing and walking in the correct positions will make you less prone to back pain. However, there are other benefits that aren’t as well known even though they’re just as important. One of these benefits is breathing. Yes, breathing. That thing you do unconsciously which keeps you alive.

Your lungs need room to expand in your chest when taking air in. Having your back slouched makes your rib cage collapse a bit and restrict your breathing to a certain degree. Although not enough to be noticeable, it can put pressure on your lungs in time and it will cause you to breathe inefficiently and not get enough oxygen to your brain.

This, in turn, can lead to fatigue and cause you to have difficulty concentrating. If you’ve ever found yourself staying slouched for too long when sitting in front of the computer and you had these problems, now you know why. So start by fixing your posture and you might just be able to work more efficiently without getting tired.

 

Blood circulation gets an enhancement

Since you’re compressing vital organs when slouching your back or staying completely sunk into your chair, you’ll also restrict blood flow throughout your entire body. Having bad blood circulation can lead to numerous problems over time. Memory loss, cold hands and feet, numbness and tingling, as well as other issues, arise from improper blood circulation.

 

Improper posture doesn’t always arise from laziness

Some people have inflexible muscles without even realizing it. If your chest muscles pull your shoulders forward or if your hip muscles pull your upper body forward, then you need to exercise these muscles to make them work properly and stop impeding your efforts to correct your posture.

Weak core muscles also cause improper balance and can hinder your posture. Back, side, pelvis and buttocks muscles play a huge role when doing even the simplest of actions, such as walking down the street at regular speed. For people who have these problems, keeping their back straight is way too tiresome.

If you have any of these problems, consult with a physician and search for exercises that help you build muscle strength in those areas. 

Good posture makes you look confident

Have you ever been to an interview at a big company and noticed that the interviewer looked powerful and even somewhat intimidating? No, it’s not the fact that the interviewer was sharply dressed or that they had one of those fancy Armani ties. It’s the fact that the interviewer most probably had great posture.

On a psychological level, having a good posture makes other people think you’re confident, even though you’re trembling on the inside. Looking confident in tough situations can make or break your success. Since we’re on the subject of big companies, having good posture might also influence the final decision on your interview.

If you live in a very populated city, chances are that the company will easily find someone else with the same skills and experience as you. So if the person that has an identical resume to yours and also presents themselves with good posture, they’ll likely get the job and you’ll lose it, even if you are just as capable.

The same rules apply when going on dates. Yes, humans are complicated and they each look for certain aspects in their partners. While having similar hobbies, ideas, and goals as the person you’re dating is crucial, a good posture can increase your chances of getting that second date. And, of course, this can lead to a good relationship in the long run.

 

You will also FEEL more confident

The power of the mind-body connection is absolutely fascinating. Researchers have gone through numerous studies and they all seem to indicate the same thing. Good posture stimulates the part of your brain that handles confidence. Standing straight decreases cortisol by 11% in just a few minutes.

In case you don’t know what cortisol is, it’s called “the stress hormone” for a reason. Your adrenal glands produce cortisol, which in turn triggers adrenaline and subsequently your fight or flight instincts. It makes you look and feel nervous and it can hinder your chances of success in many social situations.

Not only that, but the stress caused by cortisol can have a lasting impact on your mental health. Lower confidence can lead to prolonged sadness, which can cause severe cases of depression. It’s better to correct your posture now and reduce your cortisol levels than to have to fight for your mental well-being in your later years.

 

It will boost your concentration and mental capacity

Remember earlier when we said that having a bad posture can lead to reduced blood flow, improper breathing, and subsequently to concentration problems and fatigue? Well, in time, having a good posture significantly improves your concentration. You probably already know why this is important, but let’s make a quick rundown.

Being able to concentrate improves your workflow and reduces stress because you become more capable of finishing your tasks on time. In social situations, you’ll be better at paying attention to what other people are saying and respond coherently and quickly. When playing video games, you will also notice that your reflexes are sharper.

Speaking of video games, the same thing goes for chess. If this is one of your hobbies, then you have yet another reason to correct your posture and get better at playing the game. You will also be able to memorize more things efficiently, so you won’t have trouble remembering important dates or meetings.

How to correct your posture efficiently

The best way to correct your posture is by following the military guidelines that soldiers receive. Watch videos of soldiers marching and try to imitate their posture as closely as you can. 

To achieve this more easily, stand with your head, shoulders, and back against a straight wall. Keep your heels approximately 5 inches away from the wall. Then push away from the wall and try to maintain that posture while walking. 

Be careful to distribute weight evenly to your legs to maintain balance and make it easier for you to keep the posture for longer. When standing straight, your shoulders, ears, hips, and feet should be aligned. Keep this information in the back of your mind and practice it until it becomes second nature. In a few days, you’ll do it instinctively.

 

Closing thoughts

Maintaining a good posture isn’t necessarily hard as long as you practice a little. For the minimal effort that you will go through, the long-term benefits are an outstanding reward. The quicker you’ll correct your posture and the longer you maintain it that way, the higher the benefits. And the fact that you can do this instinctively after a few days is wonderful.

No other physical or mental exercise offers so many benefits with such low effort in such a short time frame. Optionally, you can ask your friends to keep an eye on your posture and attract your attention if you do it wrong. Having someone look after you will reduce the effort even more and it will make you correct yourself even better.

We hope you’ve found the information in this article useful and we wish you good luck. May you stand tall and confident!

 

 

Ioana Moldovan

Ioana is a lifelong learner with extensive work experience in the public health field. She is passionate about science and psychology and is constantly curious about how these can change people’s lives for the better. Her goal is to gather valuable information that can help her readers.

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