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  • Writer's pictureDr. Monica Ngo

The Importance of Good Posture and How to Get It

Updated: Jan 27, 2022

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It takes more than just standing up straight to look your best and have good posture. This is, in fact, crucial to your long-term well-being. Whether you're moving or not, making sure you're holding your body correctly can help you avoid discomfort, injuries and other health issues.

What exactly is posture?

The way you hold your body is called “posture”. There are two kinds:

  • When you're walking, running, or bending over to pick something up, your “dynamic posture” is how you hold yourself.

  • When you're not moving, such as sitting, standing or sleeping, your “static posture” is how you hold yourself.

You should always try to maintain optimal dynamic and static posture. The location of your spine is crucial to optimal posture. Your spine has three natural curves: one in the neck, one in the middle, and one in the lower back. These curves should be maintained, not increased, through good posture. The top of your shoulder should be over your hips, and your head should remain above your shoulders.

What impact does my posture have on my health?

Poor posture is harmful to one's health. Slumping or slouching can lead to the following difficulties:

  • Your musculoskeletal system becomes misaligned

  • Your spine will deteriorate with time, making it more vulnerable to damage

  • Pain in the neck, shoulders and back

  • Reduction in your flexibility

  • Reduction in how well your joints move

  • Affecting your equilibrium which makes you more likely to fall

  • Makes it more difficult for your food to be digested

  • Makes it more difficult to breathe

What should I do to improve my posture?

Keep your posture in check while doing ordinary things like watching TV, doing dishes, or walking.

Remain active. Any sort of exercise can help you improve your posture, but certain exercises are particularly beneficial. Yoga, tai chi, and other body-awareness-focused movements are among them. It's also a good idea to undertake core-strengthening exercises (the muscles around your back, abdomen and pelvis).

Maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI). Extra weight can wreak havoc on your abdominal muscles, your pelvis and spine, and create low back pain. All of these things can deteriorate your posture.

Wear low-heeled, comfy shoes. High heels, for example, can throw your balance off and require you to move unusually – this increases the amount of stress on your muscles and degrades your posture.

Make sure your work surfaces are at a comfortable height, whether you're sitting in front of a computer, making supper or enjoying a meal.

How can I improve my sitting posture?

Most Canadians spend a significant amount of time sitting, whether at work, school, or home. It's critical to sit comfortably and take frequent breaks. Here’s how:

  • Frequently change your sitting position

  • Walk about your office or home for a few minutes

  • Stretch your muscles gently now and then to ease muscle tension

  • Maintain a flat foot on the floor, with your ankles in front of your knees, and avoid crossing your legs

  • Use a footrest if your feet can’t reach the floor

  • Your shoulders should not be rounded or dragged backwards; they should be relaxed

  • Maintain a close relationship between your elbows and your body. They should be bent at a 90-120 degree angle

  • Check to see if your back is properly supported. If your chair lacks a backrest that can support the curve of your lower back, use a back cushion or other support

  • Check to see if your thighs and hips are properly supported. They should be parallel to the floor, and your seat should be well-padded

How can I improve my standing posture?

  • Stand tall and straight

  • Maintain a relaxed posture with your shoulders back

  • Your stomach should be pulled in

  • Place the majority of your weight on the balls of your feet

  • Maintain a level head

  • Allow your arms to hang freely at your sides

  • Maintain a shoulder-width distance between your feet

Excellent posture can improve your overall health. Our friendly staff at Unity Spine and Health would love to show you how. Visit us online or call us in London at (226) 223-2437.

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