“Stand up straight.” It’s a timeless admonishment we’ve probably all heard at some point or another. From the time we are young, we are reminded not to slouch, to sit up straight, and to hold our shoulders back. But why? Where is this advice coming from, and why is good posture so important?
In today’s post from the Williams Chiropractic team, we’re diving into the reasoning behind good posture — and how you can start to fix yours. Read on to learn more, and if you would like to speak to a chiropractor in the Clemmons area about neck pain or back pain relief, please contact our wellness center today.
What Does Good Posture Look Like?
Good posture supports a “neutral spine,” meaning all of the muscles surrounding your body’s spine and core are in balance and supporting the body equally. What does this look like?
When sitting: Your feet should rest flat on the floor and your weight should be placed evenly on both hips (no crossed legs!) Your back should be held straight with your shoulders back but relaxed. Your ears should line up over your collarbones.
When standing: You should be evenly balanced on both feet, which remain hip’s distance apart. Keep a slight bend at the back of your knee, and keep your shoulders above your hips and your ears above your collarbones.
What Are the Benefits of Good Posture?
Good posture reinforces your body’s natural alignment, keeping all your bones and joints in the appropriate places to handle the pressure of gravity on your body. This can result in:
- Healthier joints and ligaments: Good posture can decrease abnormal wear on joint surfaces and spinal ligaments, keeping them healthier for longer.
- Less tension in your back and shoulders: A well-aligned spine keeps strain off of your upper back, shoulders, and neck, resulting in less pain and tension in that area.
- Better energy levels: When your body is in balance, you are using your muscles more efficiently, reducing your fatigue and keeping your energy levels high.
- A healthier, straighter back: Practicing good posture can help to prevent the spine from becoming fixed in abnormal positions that create further health issues.
- Reduced neck pain and back pain: Many spinal ailments like lower back pain stem from the strains placed on your body by poor posture.
- Increased lung capacity: Your lungs can be compressed when you’re slouching — standing up taller allows them more space to expand, and results in easier breathing.
- Improved circulation and digestion: Proper alignment allows for healthy blood flow to all of your vital organs.
- Stronger core and back: Since some muscular effort is required to maintain good posture, your core and back muscles will remain engaged and grow stronger.
- Enhanced self-confidence: A 2009 study from Ohio State University found that practicing good posture can actually increase your confidence in your own thoughts.
In the long term, good posture keeps you looking and feeling better and healthier, and prevents you from needing treatment for back pain.
Find Relief at Williams Chiropractic
In our next post, we’ll provide our tips for correcting your posture, so be sure to keep up with our blog! In the meantime, if you need treatment for back pain in the Clemmons area, contact us to schedule your appointment at William’s Chiropractic.