IntroductionWhile we are sitting, standing or sleeping, we hold our body in some position. It is known as the body posture. Wrong body posture takes a toll on health, whereas good one not only improves health but also increases our confidence as it adds to the personality. It makes us look elegant and feel a lot better. There are various ways to improve it. Good posture can be achieved through exercises, and by constantly training the body in such a way that least amount of strain gets exerted on ligaments and muscles throughout the day irrespective of whether we sit, stand, walk or perform exercises. Good body posture cannot be achieved overnight. It requires a consistent effort from our side as we need to constantly remind ourselves throughout the day to remain in the correct position.
Why is good body posture important?We can continue with our present body posture and rather choose not to correct it regardless of how wrong it might be. However, in the long-term, wrong body posture takes a toll on our health. Mentioned below are some points which describe why it is important for us to correct our posture.
Mentioned below are some simple yet effective ways to correct wrong body postures and improve them.
Do not slouchMost of us slouch and most of us are unaware of it. We slouch while we stand, sit or lie down and while doing so, we are exerting too much stress on our spine. When we slouch, we are exerting too much strain on all the muscles, bones and joints that support and hold our backbone. Consequently, we suffer from backache. Also, in the long-term, it affects the efficient functioning of vital organs such as intestines and lungs. As a result, digestion of food and adequate inhalation of oxygen does not take place. Thus, we need to keep our back straight irrespective of whether we are sitting, standing or lying down.
Improve body posture while sittingSome of us keep our back straight throughout the day but while in sitting position or when relaxing in front of the television, we slouch. In such cases, we need to constantly remind ourselves not to do so. We can place a rolled-up cloth or a cushion behind our mid-back area. It will offer protection to the natural curve of our spine. While sitting on a chair, we need to keep our knees at 90 degrees. They need to be placed at the same height or a little higher than our hips. Our feet should lie flat on the floor.
Avoid wearing heelsHeels are trendy and everybody loves them as they add to the personality. It does not mean that we have to wear them all the time. Wearing heels occasionally is okay but all the time can affect our posture and health. The base of our spine can thrust forward if we wear them all the time. Wearing heels can change the lineup of our backbone. Too much strain gets exerted on nerves. Consequently, we suffer from backache. Not only this, but it also exerts pressure on knees causing knee pain. Thus, for daily wear, we need to choose something comfortable for our back and knees such as flat footwear and save sky-high heels for party nights.
Learn to remain in a straight positionStanding straight and tall gives a good image to our personality. We look and feel good when we stand erect. Our position should be so straight as if we are standing against the height-measuring wall. Our chin should be in level with the ground region. Our shoulders should not be in the forward position. They should be back and straight. Our ears should align with the middle of shoulders. Our arms should fall naturally on our sides. Head and knees should also be in a straight position. Our hips or belly should not stick out while we stand straight. This position helps us to find our centre. It guides us to know the right position for us in which we need to remain always.
Walk straightWhen we stand straight, walking straight will automatically become easy for us. We need to keep all those things in mind which we cautiously do while we practice standing tall and straight. We have to keep our head up and not let it lean forward. Our eyes should look straight ahead. Our shoulders need to be back, and arms should fall freely on our sides. Our tummy should be inside and chest out. Initially, we may find it a little difficult to move straight. We can practice it by keeping a book on our head which will help us to walk with a straight back, and head held up.
Maintain appropriate sleeping positionWe should also be cautious about our body posture while we sleep or lie down. Pillow should not be placed under shoulders. It should only be placed under the head. The mattress should be firm one. Those who all are sleeping on the soft surface are doing lots of damage to their body, especially back. Sleeping sideways and placing knees near to the chest area is one of the top favourite positions. However, it is a wrong sleeping posture. We can sleep sideways but knees should be bent only slightly. Also, avoid sleeping on the stomach as it can cause backache and neck pain. We should always sleep in the position which maintains the natural curve in our back. We can sleep on our back and keep a pillow underneath our knees or under the lower back.
Correct body posture with exercisesBody posture can be corrected by exercising regularly. Yoga, Pilates help a lot. Also, exercise increases fitness which in turn aids in carrying out the everyday task easily. Risk of suffering from injury, backache, muscle strain decrease to a large extent. Posture support brace can be used to maintain the right body posture all the time. Spending 15-30 minutes daily to perform exercises can bring remarkable improvement in body posture. The only thing that needs to be kept in mind is we should not overdo our capacity. Gradually increasing the intensity, and duration of exercise is always beneficial. Also performing exercises under the guidance of an expert helps a lot.
Use gadgets properlyGadgets have overpowered our lives, and we cannot imagine a day in their absence. They have become a necessity. In the process, we are carelessly spending too much time in front of them which is taking a toll on our health. We spend our day and night in front of them. However, we are improperly using them. When we speak on our phone, we need to keep our head straight. Instead, we tilt our head which can cause neck pain. Irrespective of whether we are working on our computers or texting on our phones, we need to sit or stand straight and keep our head straight. Slouching of the head should be avoided. Similarly, relaxing in front of the television does not mean we can slouch and not care about the right posture. Even while relaxing, we should be cautious that we are maintaining the natural curve in our back.
Be confident and stress-freeWe all know that confidence in a person makes him look good. There is confidence in every aspect of his life including his body posture. If we have confidence in ourselves, we can motivate ourselves to correct our body postures. Good body posture boosts the strength of muscles which in turn decreases the risk of suffering from injury, pain and strain. Stress plays an important role in determining the health of an individual. High-stress levels in the body can exert too much tension in the muscles. Consequently, we tend to slouch and adapt wrong body postures. Thus, we need to remain stress-free and instil confidence in ourselves which will help us to slowly correct our wrong body postures, and increase fitness.
ConclusionOur unhealthy lifestyle and poor choices have made us suffer from health-related problems. Improper body posture is one such serious issue. If not corrected, it can cause serious damage to health. It depletes energy causing fatigue and even gives rise to backache, muscle tension and speeds up the ageing process. Correcting wrong body posture requires time as we have to constantly remind ourselves to give up on our old habits and maintain the right position all the time, irrespective of whether we are sitting, standing or sleeping. Moreover, we can make use of the above mentioned simple ways that will help us to achieve good posture and embrace health.