The Advantages of Good Posture

Three Women Sit Cross-legged on the Floor of a Gym With Their Arms Raised for a Yoga Exercise
Young women sitting upright in a yoga class (Image: Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images)

Posture is the position you maintain while standing, sitting or lying down. You have good posture when your position creates the least amount of strain on supporting muscles and ligaments when you move or perform weight-bearing activity. As we're often reminded as kids, maintaining good posture is beneficial in many ways.

Good Posture Defined

Good sitting posture means that your back is straight and your buttocks are at the back of your chair. Keep your feet flat on the floor and bend your knees at a right angle. When standing with good posture, you should be able to draw an imaginary straight line from your earlobe through your shoulder, hip, knee and the middle of your ankle.

Better for Your Body

Good posture and back support are essential for avoiding back and neck pain. In fact, many people who suffer back pain experience positive changes when they improve their posture, notes the Cleveland Clinic. Good posture also prevents muscle aches and muscle fatigue. It keeps your bones and joints in proper alignment so you use your muscles more efficiently, preventing strain and overuse.

Future Health

Maintaining good posture may help you avoid new health problems. Proper posture reduces abnormal wear and tear on joint surfaces, which can lead to arthritis. It also reduces stress on ligaments that connect spinal joints. Good posture helps you avoid developing an abnormal permanent position, which can cause spinal disk problems and constricted blood vessels and nerves. Good posture also protects spinal joints from injury and deformity.

Breathe Right

Good posture helps to open the airways and ensure proper breathing. Proper breathing allows enhanced oxygen flow in the cardiopulmonary system. The blood then carries sufficient oxygen to the nervous system, organs and other tissues, so they function effectively.

Looking Good

Maintaining good posture does wonders for your appearance. Proper posture can help you make a good first impression, and appear more attractive and confident. When you avoid slouching, you look taller and slimmer. All these aspects add to your self-confidence.

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