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As you are sitting and reading this, how is your posture?

As you are sitting and reading this, how is your posture?

While reading this, are you slouched over in your chair, maybe even resting your chin in your hand with legs crossed? An important key to longevity is having a healthy, happy spine; one component of a healthy spine is having good posture. Here are a few ways to keep your posture in check and why it’s a good idea to do so….your spine will thank you for reading this!

Take inventory of your activities: Over time, it is easy to fall into poor posture habits from the regular activities of your daily routine. Driving, standing or sitting all day at work, minimal daily movement and even the position in which you sleep all play a factor in your posture. Identify the habits and activities you have created that lead to poor posture and try to replace with better habits and increased awareness. Some examples;

  • Get up and move; As the day progresses, muscles tire if they are not active. If you have a desk job, it is very easy to forget the importance to get up and move. Try setting an alarm on your phone or computer to remind yourself to get up, stretch and move a bit on a regular basis throughout the day. An easy stretch to implement into your work day is to stand up with feet hip width apart, interlace fingers at your lower back and try to bring the fists closer to the earth behind you. The fronts of your shoulders will open, chest and gaze might even rise a bit to the ceiling, countering any slouching you are doing while working.
  • Distribute body weight evenly; When standing, it is very easy to slump into one leg, or even hyper-extend (lock-out) your knees. Try to ground through the ball of the foot below the big toe and the heel evenly while standing. While sitting, think of doing the same, keep both feet grounded to the earth equally and let the base of your spine rest lightly on the back of the chair while the ears and shoulders stay stacked (natural curves in the spine are part of a good posture). Try it for 2-3 minutes at a time until you are sitting evenly on a regular basis rather than unbalanced by crossed legs or a tilted head

Benefit from having good posture: Aside from our doctors telling us that having a good posture is healthy, it is hard to know exactly how it helps you. A few benefits to maintaining a good posture include;

  • It supports healthy breathing; The amount of air that you can bring in to the body with a good posture is largely beneficial than in comparison to if you have poor posture. This can lead to more energy as your blood gets more of the oxygen it needs to benefit the cells of the body.
  • It increases your self-image: You will stand a little taller, walk with a little more pride and feel better about the way you look. Try this test, sit slouched for 30 seconds and then sit with better posture for 30 seconds…any difference in how you feel? Enough said!

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