You probably have bad posture if you spend most of the day seated or on your phone. And it could be worse if you don’t exercise at all. This is something I personally challenge myself on, because I know I've acquired 'text neck' over the last couple of years, as well as sit far too long in front of my computer screen (my boyfriend also insists I've gotten shorter as a result). However, the benefits of good posture are invaluable. Here's a list of 10 reasons why you, too, should consider adding daily posture boosting exercises to your day, and a couple of videos to help get you started.
People with high power poses have increased feelings of dominance, risk-taking, and power as well as reduced anxiety.
2. No back pain
Good posture is critical to reducing back and neck pain. Slouching can add strain to muscles and put stress on the spine. This can change the anatomical characteristics of the spine, leading to constricted blood vessels and nerves, as well as problems with muscles, discs, and joins. The Cleveland Clinic notes that people who suffer from back pain experience positive changes when they improve their posture.
3. Look good and feel confident
You look taller, slimmer and more successful when you sit and stand tall. A study by researchers at Ohio State University found that sitting upright actually reinforced confidence. Upright participants felt confidence in their thoughts whereas slumped participants were more unsure of their themselves.
4. Lose weight!
You can actually burn up to 350 calories a day by maintaining good posture! Chiropractor James Emmett explains that this is because by carrying yourself better, you are “taking tension off the whole body and everything starts to flow better.”
5. Build a stronger core
By sitting upright we extend the mid back, which leads to a neutral spine that allows the pelvis to position itself in a way that the core muscles can activate better. Once core muscles are working better, the abs will appear flatter and toned.
6. Breathe Better
Keeping an upright posture helps open up the airways and ensure proper breathing. This allows more oxygen to flow through the cardiopulmonary system. The blood is then able to carry sufficient oxygen to the whole body and ensure that your nervous system, organs and other tissues function effectively.
7. Improve your memory and brain
A study conducted by Indiana University focused on how words and memories are linked to posture and found that babies’ learning ability is in fact affected by their posture. Being upright improved their ability to map new experiences and remember things.
8. Improve your mood
Erik Peper carried out a range of experiments to test how posture affects energy level and the ability to generate positive and negative thoughts. He found that participants who were upright and dynamic felt more energetic, happier and positive. By contrast, those who slouched reported feeling sad, lonely and isolated.
9. Reduce your stress
Stress not only causes poor posture, but also actually perpetuates it! A recent study compared different seated postures to evaluate how each affected emotions in the face of stress. Results found that adopting an upright posture when stressed can maintain self-esteem, reduce negative mood, and increase positive mood compared to a slumped posture. Therefore, sitting upright might be a simple strategy to help build resilience to stress.
10. Be more productive
Sitting upright makes you more alert, concentrated, and productive. The reason is that when you slouch, your body takes in as much as 30% less oxygen than you’d take in with good posture. This means that when you slouch, it is much harder to keep your energy up.
1. The first in this series, the 'Chin Tuck' is essential to combatting 'text neck'.
2. Feeling shorter like me? Give these height 'boosting' exercises a try!
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