Good posture is great for the body, and even better for the mind. But are you sitting comfortably enough to reap the benefits?
I’m forever vowing to improve my posture. It’s rare afternoon that I won’t be found hunched over my laptop, with phone squeezed between shoulder and ear. While my dining chair won’t win any ergonomic awards, I know the way I sit on it doesn’t help that ever-present backache and the occasional headache. And It seems I’ve also overlooked the damage it’s doing to my mental wellbeing.
‘Good posture benefits both body and mind’. ‘Most of us don’t have good posture and our health is suffering as a result.’ Good posture involves keeping your body in alignment and maintaining the natural curve of the spine whether you’re sitting, standing or lying down.
The problem is that our sedentary lifestyle-desk-bound for much of the day, sofa-bound for much of the evening-means we develop bad habits. Slouching, slumping and lack of exercise are the biggest culprits. ’As well as the obvious problems, slouching squashes the abdominal area, reducing its supply of oxygen and nutrients. This impairs digestion, leading to feelings of lethargy and sluggishness.
Breathe more easily
Bad posture affects our breathing, too, meaning we take shallower breaths. ’When this happens the body perceives itself to be under attack and this exacerbates feelings of stress, which in turn hamper sleep and energy levels. Then there is fatigue. ’Our muscles are the biggest energy consumers in the body’. ‘Poor posture means they have to work overtime, which depletes energy.’
We can’t deny that the ‘head up, chest out, stomach in’ mantra makes us feel better and more confident, too. Good posture projects a more upright stance both physically and mentally. Indeed, research has shown that 92 per cent of people found it easier to generate positive thoughts while sitting upright than when in a slumped position. ‘It could be that poor posture creates a bad mood- or vice versa.’
It’s easier to generate positive thoughts while sitting upright