Prolonged computer use contributes to poor posture. Paul Moore | Dreamstime.com
After over-indulging in food, alcohol, and probably time spent in front of the television since Thanksgiving, many people are most likely not feeling great today. Would you like to know a quick and simple way to improve how you look and feel right now? Improve you posture.
In today’s society, it is hard not to slouch all day. Americans spend a lot of time driving, slumping over a computer, and slouching in front of the TV. But all that slouching is costing us much pain. Poor posture can cause a variety of health issues, including low back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, tension headaches, poor breathing patterns, and over time, damage to skeletal and muscular structures.
On the other hand, good posture can make you look thinner, younger, and more confident. Also, correct posture enhances breathing by lifting the rib cage, which gives the lungs more room to expand. Other internal organs benefit from good posture, too. The heart and liver can perform at optimal levels when the rib cage is not smashing them. It has also been said that good posture can increase energy levels. Sounds good, right?
Here are a few tips to instantly improve your posture and help you look and feel better quickly:
• Whenever you notice that your posture is poor, lift your sternum, or breastbone, an inch or two. This simple move helps to align your back, neck, and shoulders in a more desirable posture.
• Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull them down. This improves posture and starts to strengthen the back muscles needed for continued postural changes.
• Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes. Instead, choose properly fitted shoes that offer support and comfort.
• Exercise regularly to strengthen abdominal muscles and back muscles. These muscles are an integral part of maintaining proper posture.
• Don’t slouch or lean forward to work on the computer. Maintain proper posture and adjust your chair and computer screen as needed.
• Get up and move around throughout the day. As muscles tire, it gets hard to maintain proper posture and slouching becomes inevitable. Prevent this by getting up from your chair every half hour and walking around or stretching.
Posture is not something we think about much during our busy lives, but simple adjustments can make a big difference in how we look and feel. So, listen to what your mother always told you – stand up straight!