Staying fit in both body and mind as they say is not a destination, it is a lifestyle. If you can bring about a world of a difference to your physical and mental health by some slight adjustments in your daily posture then why not? Now what exactly does good posture mean. It is definitely more than appearing poised or confident. Good posture is when whatever position you choose to do your weight-bearing activity does not put much strain on the supporting muscles or ligaments. Bad posture brought on by slouching, slumping or weight issues is actually quite detrimental to the body as it can result in circulation issues, vertebral deterioration, early exhaustion, chronic neck, back and shoulder pains, respiratory problems and more.

Unsupportive chairs or mattresses or extended work hours or even playing sports without proper techniques are not helping with this either. Another fact is that when you try to overcorrect your slouching posture by holding the shoulders backwards, this could cause your muscles to tense up or your back to get stiff. When this position is continued for long it can lead to the shoulder being rounded permanently or perhaps even to the degradation of the joints in the spinal column.

Here are some posture control tips while siting, standing, walking, running or sleeping;

Sitting – Keep the head straight and not tilted up or down. The shoulders should be kept back and relaxed. The knees must be placed slightly lower than the hips. The feet should be kept flat on the floor. Keeping the back ramrod straight or working without supporting the arms is not advisable. The feet should not be tucked under the chair or the legs should not be crossed above the knees.

Standing – The shoulders should be kept back and aligned. The body can be kept straight by using the stomach muscles. Slightly bend the knees to ease pressure on the hips. Not ideal to stick the chest out so ensure to keep it perpendicular to the ground. Standing in the same position for long periods of time is a definite posture no-no. The footwear must also be one offering great support.

Walking – The chin should be kept parallel to the ground. Make sure the heels hit the ground first before rolling onto the toe. The stomach and buttocks should be in line with the rest of the body. Walking by looking down at your feet is calling for posture trouble. The back should be straight and not arched.

Running – The head should be up while running and the look should be directed forward. The arms should be kept loose with elbows placed at a 90-degree angle. Slightly lean forward and ensure that the midpoint of the foot hits the ground before rolling it forward to the toe. Hunching the shoulders, bending at the waist, or lifting the knees too high is bad running form.

Sleeping – Reduce spinal curves by using pillows as required or with a well-supported mattress. Make stretching a bedtime routine to ease muscle tension and sleep on the side and not on the stomach to reduce pressure on the cervical spine. A pillow placed in between legs, on the back, or under the knees can offer better support. Placing multiple pillows high like a stack can cause unnatural bending of the neck.

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