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What is the importance of maintaining a good posture?

Most of us lack good posture. A good posture has a lot of importance as it improves your appearance, makes you look taller, enhances your self confidence and self assurance, prevents aches and pains. Bad posture is one of the main cause for back pain. The three spinal curves i.e. neck, upper back and lower back needs to be kept in balanced alignment.

Sitting affects the back more than standing. Standing demands five times more on the spine and muscles lying down. To keep the spinal curves aligned, the muscles are needed to be strong and flexible.

– Poor posture can narrow the space between vertebrae and hence increasing the risk of compressed nerves.
– Poor posture increases wear on joints and can contribute to osteoarthritis.
– Bad posture can cause your pectorals contract and shorten if you sit bent over a desk all day. The back muscles lengthens and gets weakened making it difficult to lift the chest which is important for good posture.
– Contracted chest muscles contribute to shoulder injury, sore neck, back pain and fatigue.

Poor posture includes rounded shoulders, protruding buttocks and abdomen, arched lower back, head pushed in forward position. To improve poor posture and maintain a good posture,one thing that is most important is to maintain a healthy weight. Keep in mind the following points:

– The footwear that you wear while standing or walking plays an important part for maintaining a good posture.
– You should imagine as if a wire is attached to the top of your head pulling it upwards.
– Avoid standing or walking with an extreme curve in lower back.
– Tighten the abdominal muscles and flattening your stomach and hold for few seconds.
– Stand evenly balanced on both feet.
– While sitting, sit firmly back with shoulders against chair, chest lifted and upper back straight.
– Equal weight should be put on both buttocks.
– Thighs should be horizontal while sitting.
– Feet should be flat on floor while sitting.
– While working at desk, do not loo directly down at your work.
– While driving, seat should be positioned so that the wheel could be reached easily as well as brake, accelerator and clutch.
– Take a break if you are sitting for a long time.
– The mattress should be comfortable, not too hard but it should not sag. Early morning back pain is a sign of a poor posture.
– Lifting or carrying too heavy objects can cause poor posture.

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