Why You Should Stop Slouching and How to Get Good Posture
Growing up, your mom might have told you to “sit up straight” and to “stop slouching”. Having good posture is more beneficial than we realize. Standing tall impacts not only our physical well-being, but our emotional well-being too. It announces to the world: HERE I AM! When you stand straight, your body will give you a boost of confidence that projects onto others and reflects back to you.
Poor body mechanics lead to slouching, like hunching over your keyboard, sitting improperly, looking down at your cell phone, or carrying multiple bags of heavy groceries (because two trips are for the weak!). Women will also tend to droop their upper body and round their shoulders to draw less attention to their chest, or as a defense mechanism. The routines of straining your neck and rounding your shoulders, or being overweight, can lead to bad posture.
Having good posture can reduce stress and strain on your spine, and can allow you to work with less fatigue on your body’s muscles and ligaments, making you more efficient.
It’s important to pay attention to your posture, until it becomes a routine, so you can improve it. When you want to improve your posture, take some time to stand in front of your mirror, preferably a full-length mirror, and just observe your body and how it is presented from all angles by turning and observing. Take in each part of your body mindfully - are you rounding your shoulders? Does your lower back arch? If so, your spine, hips and pelvis could be misaligned. Realigning your body can straighten your posture, but it might be difficult because you’re not accustomed to standing this way.
Here are a few ways you can improve your posture and find alignment.
- Pretend you have a line that starts at the top of your head and goes down to your feet and keep it as straight as you can throughout the day.
- Hold your shoulders slightly back and open your chest wall. Rolling them back will help you stand up taller, too!
- Draw in your lower abs, preventing your lower back from overarching.
- Sit taller on your “sit” bones by aligning your shoulders with your hips.
- Practice yoga poses like child’s pose, forward fold, and cat cow.
When you’re more mindful of your posture - it might take time - but it can improve. Keep track of how many times you notice the misalignment in your spine because you’re slouching - you might not realize just how bad your posture is until you’re actively monitoring it. Sinking into bad posture might be comfortable now, but with a little work and perseverance, a healthy posture can become your new normal.
Practicing yoga, whether in a class or when you’re sitting at your desk at work, is helpful when you’re doing it stylishly and comfortably. Yoga Pants Cat has a great collection of yoga pants that keeps you ready for your next trip to the mat.