Understanding the Importance of Good Posture and How to Improve Yours

by Staff

Back pain is one of the most common injuries Americans deal with. It affects all ages, demographics, and health levels. No one is immune from the annoyance of an aching back every once in a while. But there are certainly many things you can do to prevent or reduce the back pain that you experience. One of the main tactics is improving your posture. The importance of good posture is immeasurable for the overall health and wellness of individuals. Read on to learn more about good posture and what it can do for you!

Elements of Good Posture

The first step to figuring out if you need to improve your posture or not is to understand what good posture looks like. Then you can gauge how poor posture you have or not.

For most bodies, good posture means that the spine is aligned in a way that doesn’t cause pain or discomfort. When your feet are planted firmly on the ground your stomach should be tucked in and your head held tall.

Good posture is necessary for more than when you’re standing though. Pay attention to how your neck and back are aligned when sitting and laying down as well.

An easy way to check on your posture is to have someone take a photo of you standing or sitting as you normally would. This will give you the visual you need to know which areas can be improved and which are in good shape. It can be difficult to know without that visual representation.

There’s no exact formula for good posture, so it’s important to spend a little time trying different positions to see what works best for you.

Effects on the Body

While it might seem like such a trivial part of health and wellness, posture can have a major effect on the way our bodies function.

When you don’t stand or sit up straight and your body is hunched over, it doesn’t give the organs proper room to do their job. This particularly affects the lungs and stomach as they require space to complete their tasks. That shortness of breath or difficulty digesting from poor posture can then lead to other major problems as well.

A misaligned posture can cause you to hold tension in your neck and shoulders. That tension often leads to headaches and migraines, which can range from uncomfortable to unbearable.

The most common side effect of poor posture is lower back pain. This can also range in severity but always disrupts our daily routines. Lower back pain is a leading cause of missing work and seeking medical attention.

Continually standing with poor posture can have lasting negative effects on your muscles, bones, blood vessels, and organs if not fixed quickly.

Improving Posture

The good news is that most posture problems can be fixed with a few simple steps and a little bit of effort.

Once you’ve figured out where you need to improve your posture, the easiest thing to do is try to be conscious of the way your standing or sitting. If you know you slouch while at work, set reminders to fix your posture every half hour. If you know you stand a little off, give yourself cues to stand straighter.

The difficult part of fixing your posture comes while it still feels foreign and unnatural. That’s where exercises come in.

When you strengthen the muscles used to hold yourself up straight, your body will default to the correct position. It will be your natural posture and you won’t need to remind yourself and work extra at it.

Focusing your strength training on your core and back muscles will help you build up the strength and endurance needed for good posture.

Tools to Help Improve Posture

If you’re looking for some serious back pain relief as quickly as possible, you might want to try a tool designed to help improve posture.

The most commonly used tool for improving posture is a lumbar support pillow. This is a small, firm pillow designed to fit the curve of a back. It’s placed behind the lower back while sitting to help prop the spine into proper alignment.

A lumbar support pillow is great because it can be used in literally any sitting position; at work, on the couch, or in the car. These are all common times when posture becomes poor, so the forced reminder of the pillow is very helpful.

Some people also use different pillows to help keep their posture aligned while laying down. These can go between the knees or under the neck to hold the correct position.

There are many devices designed to help you stay in good posture, finding the right one can be a game-changer for developing the habit.

Maintaining Good Posture

There is a lot of work that goes into improving your posture but it’s still so easy to fall back into your old patterns and slip back to poor posture. That leaves you with all of the same negative side effects you worked so hard to avoid.

It’s absolutely crucial to maintain your good posture in order to see the positive consequences in your body.

The best way to maintain your good posture is to set yourself up for success. This can be done by creating an environment that promotes standing or sitting tall with an aligned spine. For example, if you work on your computer, move your monitor so that you don’t have to hunch to see it.

Maintaining your good posture is almost more important than improving it, as that is when you’ll see the biggest health difference.

Importance of Good Posture for Back Pain

The importance of good posture can’t be understated. If you can improve your posture it’s likely that other areas of your health will improve right along with it.

Good posture and its importance allows your muscles, organs, and circulatory system to complete their tasks with less strain. This simple adjustment of paying attention to how you’re holding yourself can have immeasurable benefits.

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The New Jersey Digest is a new jersey magazine that has chronicled daily life in the Garden State for over 10 years.

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