The Benefits of Practicing Good Posture

Practicing good posture throughout the day can have a significantly positive impact on aspects of your physical well-being. While posture may not be the first thing on your mind during your day-to-day activities, you may wish it had been when experiencing the neck and back pain poor posture can lead to. In this article we are going to discuss the benefits of practicing good posture and provide you with some information to help you achieve those benefits.

What Is Posture?

When you think about posture, there is a fair chance that the moments in your life when you were told “sit up straight!” or “don’t slouch!” come to mind. But what is posture exactly?

Posture is the overall way in which you hold your body. There are two primary types of posture, dynamic posture and static posture. Dynamic posture is the way you hold your body when moving and static posture is the way you hold your body when standing still, sitting, or sleeping. Your posture is mainly controlled by the ways in which you position your spine.

digital diagram of the human spine

What Is Good Posture?

When practicing proper posture, your spine is kept at a neutral position. Your spine has three natural curves; one located by your neck, another located toward the middle of your back, and the last by your lower back. Keeping your spine in a neutral position means that you are maintaining these three natural curves.

When standing, this can be accomplished by:

  • Keeping your knees and ankles straight with your feet shoulder width apart
  • Keeping your shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles level
  • Keeping your chin parallel to the floor beneath you
  • Keeping your head straight with your jaw and neck relaxed
  • Move your shoulder blades toward each other in order to lift your breastbone

When sitting, this can be accomplished by:

  • Resting your feet on the floor with your knees and hips bent at a 90-degree angle
  • Making sure your hips touch the back of your chair
  • Similar shoulder blade placement to standing recommendation
  • Keeping your chin level
woman doing a yoga pose with good posture

How Can I Improve My Posture in General?

  • Be mindful of your posture during everyday activities, like watching television, washing dishes, or walking.
  • Stay active. Any kind of exercise may help improve your posture, but certain types of exercises can be especially helpful. They include yoga, tai chi, and other classes that focuses on body awareness. It is also a good idea to do exercises that strengthen your core (muscles around your back, abdomen, and pelvis).
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Extra weight can weaken your abdominal muscles, cause problems for your pelvis and spine, and contribute to low back pain. All of these can hurt your posture.
  • Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes. High heels, for example, can throw off your balance and force you to walk differently. This puts more stress on your muscles and harms your posture
  • Make sure work surfaces are at a comfortable height for you, whether you’re sitting in front of a computer, making dinner, or eating a meal.

National Institutes of Health

Proper Posture and Chiropractic Therapy

At Merckling Family Chiropractic, we can work with you to help teach you personalized ways to practice proper posture throughout the day. We can also help alleviate the neck and back pains you may be experiencing due to practicing poor posture in the past. Contact us today to schedule an appointment so you can experience these natural benefits firsthand.

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