If you’ve ever been told to stand or sit up straight, or stick your chin out, by some authority figure, you’ll know that there are plenty of people out there who believe in the importance of good posture. Usually, we’re just told that it’s important, not why it’s important. As frustrating as the reminders to stop slouching may have been, whoever your tormentor was may have been right. There are actually several really good, science-backed reasons to maintain good posture!
Reduces Wear, Tear, and Pain Related to Your Body
One of the reasons why you should improve your posture is that good posture can prevent or relieve aches and pains. When you have good posture, your body is essentially situated in the optimal way. By aligning your back and core muscles correctly, you’ll relieve strain that causes wear and tear over time.
Less Back and Joint Pain
For example, maintaining good posture is a prime way to relieve or prevent back pain overtime. By keeping the joints and muscles in your back in their optimal positions, you allow your body to function without any unnatural strain. The same is true for your spine, which can be damaged due to strain from abnormal positions. Overtime, this strain to the spine, muscles, or joints can lead to arthritis concerns and greater pain.
A surprising pain that bad posture can cause is a headache. Yes, the strain on your back and neck muscles from poor posture can lead to tension headaches. These tension headaches can be incredibly painful, and while there are ways to relieve some of the pain, the only way to stop it is to remove the cause.
Improves Your Body’s Performance
Without the strain and pain caused by poor posture, your body should be able to perform better, whether that’s related to exercising or getting around more comfortably. It doesn’t just let you move more freely, however. Posture can affect other aspects of your body’s physical performance, too.
Higher Energy Levels
When your body doesn’t need to work as hard to combat muscle strains and pains, it can leave you with greater levels of energy. This isn’t just a common-sense sort of thing either. It’s been backed by studies that have found that a slouched, poor posture can greatly decrease physical energy, while a good posture can increase one’s energy level.
Surprisingly (or perhaps, unsurprisingly), maintaining good posture is also a bit of a subtle workout. Keeping your back straight and your shoulders back, for example, takes a degree of effort from your core muscles, like those in your chest and abdomen. In turn, the stronger our core muscles are, the easier it is to maintain a good posture, giving more support to your spine and joints.
Gives You Even More Health Benefits!
Not only can a good posture improve your body’s performance and relieve you of pain, it can also benefit you in other ways, both physically and mentally.
Higher Self Confidence
If you’ve checked out this study we linked to earlier, you’ll notice that researchers also found that good posture may help relieve symptoms of depression. Other studies have had similar findings, like that good posture can boost self-esteem. On the opposite side of the spectrum, pain from poor posture, in your back and neck for example, can lead to depression and negative emotions.
Better Breathing and Circulation
Physically, good posture can improve two important facets of your daily life, your breathing and circulation. One study from 2004 found that good posture makes it easier to breath, while slumping can make it much more difficult. This was supported by a study in 2017, which found less tension in the diaphragm and easier movement in breathing with an upright position, compared to a slouched position.
At the same time, improving posture is one way that you can improve your circulation, as well. This is supported by numerous studies and is largely in part due to proper alignment of organs. When your organs are in the optimal arrangement, there’s less compression, which can inhibit the flow and circulation of your blood.
● ● ●
The health benefits of good posture are significant and all back up why improving your posture influences more than just how you sit or stand. Considering that posture is something you can pretty easily work on while sitting, standing, or even lying down, there’s little reason to not fix your posture and reap the benefits!