7 reasons why good posture is so important

Good posture is essential to good health for so many reasons, not the least of which is just feeling better. By changing your slouchy, slumpy habits, you can:
  • Reduce the fatigue and strain in your muscles, ligaments and joints 
  • Alleviate low back pain - the 2nd most common reason people visit the doctor
  • Breathe better and increase the oxygen flow to your brain, which helps you concentrate and maybe even makes you more creative
  • Enjoy a stronger sense of confidence
  • Reduce wear and tear on your spine and all its discs
  • Improve digestion by keeping your ribcage upright and your diaphragm relaxed
  • Improve circulation from your limbs to your heart
So how do you improve your posture? Maintaining a healthy weight and getting regular exercise is important, as is paying attention to how you sit, stand and carry yourself during the day and at night.

Sitting for good posture

You want to have the lower and the middle portions of your back against the back of your chair, distributing your weight evenly. Your knees should be bent at 90° with your feet flat on the floor. Avoid sitting for more than 30 minutes at a time. Get up every half-hour and move around - do some stretches, get a drink of water and practice a little deep breathing.

Standing for good posture

Pay attention to your shoulders. Instead of hunching up or curving forward, they should be back, relaxed and aligned with each other. Your chest should be perpendicular to the ground (not puffed out) and you can tighten your stomach muscles to support your back and stand a bit straighter. Don't lock your knees - they should be bent slightly to take pressure off your hips. If you need to be standing for long periods of time, wear supportive shoes.

Walking for good posture

Looking down at your cell phone while you're walking doesn't do your posture any favors. Keep your chin parallel to the ground. Your shoulders should be relaxed and your stomach and bottom should be aligned with the rest of your body. Try not to arch or bend your back too much and make sure each step starts on your heel.

Sleeping for good posture

Invest in a supportive mattress. Sleeping on your back is best, but side-sleepers can stay in better alignment by placing a pillow between your legs. Avoid sleeping on your stomach (which creates extra pressure on your neck) and choose a pillow that doesn't cause your your neck to bend at an unnatural angle.