Good posture is a crucial part of safe and effective exercise. It’s also a fundamental aspect of everyday life because it promotes balance and healthy alignment throughout your body.
Good posture gives you an increased sense of openness and freedom, making you feel and look taller, younger, and more confident.
The importance of natural spine alignment
Maintaining a nice, neutral posture, with the natural curves of the spine forming a slight “S” form reduces stress on your spine, hips, and knees. It prevents any lower back pain, ensures a stable position from which your joints can work at their optimal level, and in addition counteracts the force of gravity, which can otherwise cause you to start stooping with age.
Check your posture every day
It’s a good idea to make time every morning to check your posture in a mirror and, if necessary, amend it in order to encourage self-awareness.
It can be helpful to visualize a piece of thread attached to the top of your head, pulling you upward. This will help you to maintain a sense of length throughout your body.
When done regularly, this self-assessment will encourage you to adopt good postural habits without even thinking about it. However, in the beginning it’s important to make a conscious effort every day until you get used to it.
It’s not only important to maintain spine alignment while standing, but also when sitting and lying down.
What are the characteristics of good posture?
- lengthened neck
- chin neither tucked in nor jutting out
- shoulder blades pulled back and down
- open chest
- naturally and subtly curved spine
- abs engaged
- pelvis tilted neither forward nor backward
What are the characteristics of poor posture?
- neck bent forward
- head dropping forward
- rounded shoulders
- collapsed chest
- overly curved spine—most visible in the lower back
- bulging stomach
- pelvis tilted backward