Correcting your posture can be challenging if your line of work takes a toll on your body. For this reason, office workers, warehouse workers, and drivers are among those most at-risk for poor posture due to their nature of work. And since, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an estimated 20% of all work-related injuries are back injuries, it’s essential for employees to maintain their back health to continue their careers.
Besides improved overall appearance, several health advantages come with improving your posture, such as better lung capacity and enhanced blood circulation. Today’s blog will explore what good posture does to our bodies, discuss the importance of correct posture, and how you can achieve good posture.
Ten Health Benefits of Good Posture
Maintaining good posture offers several health benefits besides enhancing your appearance. Here are ten excellent health advantages of good posture.
Prevents chronic neck and back pain
Employees are no strangers to neck and back pain caused by staying in one position for an extended period. The chronic discomfort you feel in these areas is most likely caused by all those hours spent staring at a monitor and slouching at your desk.
This occurs because when you hunch over, you pull your muscles into awkward positions, weakening them and forcing them to develop an unnatural stance. Your back and front muscles then tighten from the extended lack of mobility.
Sitting in a comfortable, upright position as you work helps combat these chronic aches and pains, as this stance allows your body to support your spine and head without any problems.
Staves off headaches
Another typical issue that you’ve likely suffered from in the workplace is a headache. According to a recent National Library of Medicine, 509 out of 1044 respondents suffer from headaches.
Muscle tension in the neck and upper back can lead to tension headaches, the most common type of headaches people experience. The symptoms of tension headaches include pressure, tightness, and dull, throbbing pain around the forehead or at the back of the head.
Improves lung capacity
Staying in a hunched over position causes the lungs to compress, resulting in difficulty breathing and reduced respiratory function. But if you try to limit your slouching and immobility throughout the day, you’ll be able to breathe easier.
You may also want to perform breathing exercises like deep breathing to boost your lung health. With an increased lung capacity, you’ll have a much easier time doing cardiovascular activities like walking, running, and swimming.
Enhances blood circulation
Among the many good posture benefits you can enjoy is improved blood circulation. Proper circulation ensures that oxygen and other nutrients flow throughout the body efficiently, helping you maintain optimal health and achieve peak performance.
Boosts brain health
Another excellent benefit of good posture is better brain health. Since maintaining your back health also improves blood circulation, you’ll be able to think more clearly, improve your mood, and provide better support to your brain’s health.
Reduces joint wear and tear
It’s common to feel pain in your wrists after hours of typing on a keyboard or driving a vehicle. Lifting and handling heavy objects also cause discomfort and excessively strain your joints, mainly your knees.
Poor posture puts unnecessary stress on these points of the body, resulting in premature wear and tear. By maintaining good posture, you’ll be able to keep your joints healthy and properly aligned, thus minimizing the risk of excess strain.
Increases energy levels
Besides better circulation and improved lung capacity, you can look forward to increased energy levels as your body properly receives all the nutrients and oxygen needed to function correctly.
When you remain hunched for hours, less oxygen flows through your body, leaving you exhausted even without much physical activity after a few hours. But when you work on improving your posture, you can reduce fatigue and ensure that your lungs maximize their capacity.
Aside from chronic pain, slouching in front of a computer monitor or inside a car for hours can lead to work-related injuries like carpal tunnel, cubital tunnel syndrome, elbow tendonitis, and shoulder impingement.
Straightening your spine and opting for a more comfortable sitting position makes you less likely to get hurt or excessively strain your wrists, elbows, and shoulders.
Promotes better organ function
For your organs to function correctly, your brain should be able to communicate clearly with your nervous system. And the only way it can do this is when your spinal pathway is adequately aligned. Good posture ensures strong and balanced communication between your brain and other organs.
Alleviates pain from spinal conditions
Certain medical conditions like scoliosis and kyphosis can cause a lot of pain. Proper pain management can alleviate any discomfort that stems from these issues, particularly if they’re only mild cases. With good posture, you’ll be able to keep the muscles around this area strong and flexible, significantly reducing pain.
What Good Posture Looks Like
Now that we’ve explored the importance of correct posture, let’s look at what good posture really entails by first understanding the anatomy of our spine. Our spine comprises three natural curves that should align correctly to distribute weight evenly across both feet, and these curves are the cervical curve, thoracic curve, and lumbar curve.
To ensure good posture, you should align your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles from the side. When standing up, your chin should be parallel to the floor, and your shoulders must be pulled back slightly. Lastly, your shoulders, hips, knees, and feet should be pointing forward when sitting down.
There are plenty of corrective exercises you can do to improve your posture. For one, you can stretch your neck muscles with a head retraction exercise and roll out your spine using a thoracic foam roll. Lastly, if you’re constantly experiencing pain around your neck and back, we recommend a chiropractic adjustment.
Chiropractors will help you correct poor posture by making adjustments around your shoulders, including slow joint movements and forward head translation. These movements will prep you into the best position for good posture. Additionally, they will help increase activity around your joints and reduce the tension in the surrounding muscles.
If you want to learn more about why having good posture is important and how you can improve your posture at home, visit our blog here.