Home consciousness What is Proper Posture?

What is Proper Posture?

written by Head Health Nutter January 27, 2008

Correct posture practice increases your body awareness, internal body functioning, confidence, breathing, and alertness, just to name a few. It actually reduces stress, fatigue, and general aches and pains in overstressed joints and overused muscles caused by improper posture, like chronic neck, shoulder and back pain.

Perfect posture also helps prevent unnecessary injury from complex movements (like weight training) to simple movements (like picking up a sock off the floor) because, “good posture involves training the body to stand, walk, sit and lie in positions where there the least strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments.”

All this and it’ll make you appear ten pounds lighter! Why don’t you test your posture?

Here’s my recipe for good posture. Try it on for size:

  1. Stand up.
  2. Softly clench your tummy by pulling your belly button in towards your spine. Your butt muscles should also be mildly contracted (for the ladies, your kegel muscles will automatically tighten when you do this) so that your hips are slightly jutting forward.
  3. Bring your shoulders back and down (gently squeeze your shoulder blades together to do this).
  4. To naturally compensate for your back in #3, your chest should be up and out. Hint: take a deep breath to widen your lung capacity.
  5. Lengthen your neck so your chin is level (neither pointing up or down) and slightly tucked in. Imagine a string at the top of your head that’s attached to your spinal cord. Many people imagine pulling this string towards the ceiling to achieve perfect posture.
  6. Loosen your knees so that they are relaxed and delicately engage your thigh and calf muscles to maintain balance.

It feels awkward, doesn’t it? Well, that’s just you aren’t used to it. You can train your body to automatically have correct posture. Check out these 7 postural habits that you can use right now to increase your health.

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Brian Anderson January 29, 2008 at 9:18 am

Yes indeedy, good posture is key to the enjoyment of life.

Four years ago, I bought a friend’s old Acura Legend even though I couldn’t really sit up straight in it – I put the seat back and slouched, kinda’. I know. Crazy, but if you had heard the roar of that engine, felt the exhilaration of its acceleration and experienced the “fuck you” majesty of easily outdistancing all those assholes who were either tailgating me or boxing me in, well, you might be seduced like I was. This past October, it needed a lot of repairs – as 18 year old cars tend to – so I parked it at the junkers, picked up a Honda Accord (where I could sit up right up straight) and saw my life change.

How? Well, I’m a very tall man (and some say, strikingly handsome and charming, but I digress) and even though
I’ve been going to the chiropractor for years (back operation when I was a kid), my frequency of visits and financial outlay plummeted after I “moved into” the newer car. Why? my posture was better.

I wasn’t compressing my mid-back (thoracic area); specifically, the vertebra between my shoulder blades. And I’m sure, this affected my neck and lower back.

Nowadays, I go ‘maybe’ once every 4 or 5 weeks. I’m more at ease, more relaxed (when those vertebra lock up, it not only hurts, I can’t focus on anything), and my digestion is better. Good posture means your nerve tissue and endings aren’t contorted. Our bodies were meant to be in balance.

Incidentally, one of my chiro/s, the learned Dr. Jerry Tchoryck, said that the latest research conducted proved that lying flat on your back was ‘ok,’ as it preserved the curve in your back – as in it’s natural state. 2) Yoga is, in fact, bad for most people as it subjects the joints to unnatural movements.

Steph January 30, 2008 at 5:06 pm

Hey Brain,

Thanks for sharing your experience with proper posture. I’m glad you’re feeling better, despite giving up that great car!

And thanks for letting us know your chiro’s opinion on yoga. I’ve never heard that before – I want to investigate this further (and write a post about it, of course!)

How to Achieve & Maintain Good Posture : Cat Stretch Exercise to Promote Good Posture | HEALTH TIPS FOR EVERYONE September 28, 2011 at 10:33 pm

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